One year after the European Commission had launched its updated European Bio-economy Strategy, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) together with the Commission and the Committee of the Regions (CoR) organised an event on European Bio-economy: Regions, Cities and Civil Society on October 16th 2019, in Brussels.
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The member states of the European Union must strengthen stakeholder involvement in their efforts to reform national economies. Together with a new long-term EU strategy for sustainable development, improved stakeholder involvement could help create a more efficient and inclusive European semester that enjoys the support of society and is prepared to tackle the challenges facing the EU.
Change management, better communication on scientific evidence and, above all, civil engagement are key factors for the development and implementation of new indicators to measure people's well-being and societies' progress. This was the main message of a public debate that was held on 4 June by the European Economic and Social Committee and its Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion.
The EESC draws forward-looking conclusions from the 2019 Semester and the Committee's civil society consultations in the Member States
The European Semester should be based on the principles of partnership and multilevel governance modelled on the partnership agreements existing in cohesion policy, as this bottom-up approach will contribute to more clarity, legitimacy and ownership at implementing level. This was one of the main messages of a hearing held by the European Economic and Social Committee on 11 June.
On 13 and 14 June 2019, the EESC, together with the Consiglio Nazionale dell'Economia e del Lavoro (CNEL) organised the yearly “Annual meeting of the Presidents and Secretaries-General of the Economic and Social Councils of the EU and the EESC” in Rome. The topic of this year's conference was “The ESCs role in sustainable development and the implementation of the Social Pillar”.
The transition to a climate-neutral future by 2050 needs to be supported by significant investment and a regulatory framework that ensures a level playing field for companies from Europe and other parts of the globe. Moreover, such a transition will only be feasible if all stakeholders are on board. The road to climate neutrality will entail costs for all parties – governments, companies, and citizens too – and everyone needs to be aware of that. These are some of the main takeaways from the Round Table on the "Business perspective on the transition to a climate-neutral future by 2050" that took place in Brussels on 6 November.
The European Union urgently needs a new, ambitious and clear strategy for its future. Cohesion policy must be an integral part of it. New provisions for cohesion policy post-2020 must provide for sufficient means and guarantee improved policy efficiency and visibility, urges the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in an exploratory opinion on the future of cohesion policy, requested by the Romanian Council Presidency.
It proposes additional measures on communication, connectivity and civil society involvement.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) believes that tackling the social question is absolutely crucial to achieve the United Nations 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development in the EU. The implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires merging the social with the economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability, bringing about a systemic change and overcoming the silo thinking prevalent in current EU strategies. The "new deal" announced by the Commission President-elect should therefore be a Green and Social Deal ensuring that no one is left behind in the transition to a sustainable and carbon-neutral Europe.