At its January plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion on the EU's new approach to Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) as laid out in the recent EC Communication on "The power of trade partnerships". The EESC supports the comprehensive review setting a new benchmark on TSD and recognizes this important step heading in the right direction. However, the Communication is not exempt from shortcomings and the EESC regrets that no action is being taken to involve civil society more systematically during the negotiation process.
At its January plenary session, the EESC debated the EU's "Strategic Compass" vision for security and defence, pointing out that security should be understood broadly, far beyond military defence. Civilian and preventive security policy should complement military defence capabilities, with NATO being the EU's key security provider. Civil society should not be a bystander in security issues. In fact, as proven in the current war in Ukraine, it can have a stabilising role in times of crisis.
The European Commission's proposal for a comprehensive European care strategy that should guarantee to all Europeans the possibility of receiving high quality healthcare and care service throughout their lifetime has been met with approval by the EESC
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) backs a new and strengthened governance of the oceans, calling for increased international cooperation, the safeguarding of the well-being of the marine environment and the protection of fish stocks from overfishing, given their vital importance for local communities.
In an opinion adopted at its January plenary, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) states that nobody should be left behind and that it is essential to step up the coordination of national fiscal policies with the monetary policy of the European Central Bank.
To prevent forced labour, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) emphasises the importance of international cooperation and the institutional anchoring of organised civil society in the Commission's new proposal. The Committee recommends guidelines to assist companies, a specific database with risk indicators and a benchmarking system.
The technical limit value for asbestos exposure should ultimately be set at a lower level than the Commission is currently proposing in a recent Directive regulating the protection of workers from dangers of occupational asbestos exposure, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) said in an opinion adopted at its plenary session in December.
A new social contract for Latin America is needed, ensuring political accountability, inclusion, social protection and quality employment, said the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in its own-initiative opinion on the socio-economic situation in Latin America, following the pandemic. Freely and democratically organised civil societies are the best starting point.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomed the Commission's proposal for a Directive on asset recovery and confiscation as an important step towards combatting money laundering and terrorist financing in the EU. Despite a general improvement in some of the Member States, the percentage of criminal assets that are frozen or confiscated remains extremely low across the EU.