Ahead of the Eurogroup meeting on 7 April 2020, the European Economic and Social Committee has adopted a declaration calling for timely and urgent responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faced with the public health concerns and the political, economic and social consequences of the crisis, the EESC Members, as representatives of organised civil society, are united in stressing the crucial need for joint and prompt action. The Committee underlines that this pandemic is a test of solidarity in political, financial, social and scientific terms for the European Union.
In these difficult times, we must remember that we belong to a community of shared destiny. Only a European Union that upholds the principle of solidarity will be able to face the crisis, EESC Members stress.
The EESC is convinced that in these times of big uncertainty only a comprehensive European Economic Recovery Plan will enable the EU to rebuild a more sustainable and resilient European economy.
In this declaration the EESC gives clear guidelines for a joint effort to cope with the effects of this pandemic that affects enterprises, workers, civil society and everyone’s well-being.
I have always considered myself a proud European, today more than ever. Nevertheless, the current mood between the heads of State and Government, coupled with the persistent viral divisions, presents a lethal risk – not only to the European Union, but also to our ability to bounce back from this unprecedented systemic and symmetric crisis.
In less than 15 days, the EU has taken ground-breaking decisions to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and after some initial hesitation it has proven that Member States can simply not do without a coherent, coordinated approach in front of a global pandemic.
The European Economic and Social Committee backs up the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative of the European Commission. The initiative is aimed at promoting investment in the healthcare systems of the European Member States and other sectors of their economies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, the EU would mobilise cash reserves, i.e. unspent pre-financing for EU funds, and provide financial support.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) backs the European Commission's proposal to support the aviation sector in the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
On 25 March 2020, the Enlarged Presidency of the European Economic and Social Committee adopted a generally favourable position on the European Commission's proposal to amend the Council Regulation on the European Union Solidarity Fund in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The proposed regulation aims to provide financial assistance to Member States and countries negotiating their accession to the European Union that are seriously affected by major public health emergencies, such as the current pandemic.
If today, we are afraid of falling ill, losing our loved ones, our jobs, and our individual freedoms, we should not lose sight of those who are living in refugee camps, in and outside Europe.
The COVID-19 outbreak has turned into a fast-moving emergency, figures and measures are constantly changing across Europe and the world, affecting all levels of society.
Given the evolution of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and also in light of the confinement measures adopted by the Belgian authorities, the suspension of EESC meetings and events held on and outside Committee premises is extended until 3 May 2020 inclusive. This includes the plenary session scheduled for 29-30 April. Persons registered to any of the events affected will be contacted...
Sustainable development must be at the heart of the future of Europe. The EESC calls for an overarching EU 2050 strategy to implement the 2030 Agenda. This publication summarizes the main political priorities of the Committee.
The EESC is concerned to note the euro area's economic downturn and the gradual end to a fall in unemployment, wedded to the persistent higher incidence of risk factors affecting economic performance. It is the European Green Deal that the EESC sees as the backbone of the future EU and euro-area economic configuration – the potential start of a fundamental change and a turning point. If managed successfully, it could move Europe up a gear economically and socially; if not, its failure could fatally jeopardise the integrity of the EU.
The EESC welcomes the approach taken by the annual growth strategy for 2020, based on the four key pillars that are the environment, productivity, stability and fairness and also welcomes the inclusion of the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It also welcomes the fact that social rights are highlighted in the 2020 growth strategy and hopes that special attention will be given to the gender issue.
The EESC is currently drafting an opinion that aims to define what "the sustainable economy we need" should look like by exploring new economic models, investment decisions vis-à-vis technological advances as well as novel indicators for growth and competitiveness.
Taxation policies are fundamental for the SDGs as they determine the economic environment in which investment, employment, and innovation take place while providing the government with revenues for financing public spending. Businesses are global drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth, job creation, investment and innovation. Private sector expertise holds the keys to unlocking many of the challenges linked to sustainable development. Tax bases should be as broad as possible allowing tax rates to be as non-distortive as possible.