A resilient, sustainable and inclusive Europe is only possible if organised civil society is systematically involved in both national recovery plans and the Commission's new REPowerEU strategy. During its annual conference in June, the European Semester Group (ESG) renewed its call for a regulation or directive to ensure civil society participation, and proposed a permanent and common investment financing mechanism to enhance crisis preparedness and response capacity.
The European Economic and Social Committee is calling on the European Commission to carry out more targeted impact assessments of its proposals for new EU budget funding sources to repay NextGenerationEU debt. The EESC generally agrees with the proposed EU "own resources" revenues for the budget. However, they need to be stable and fair – and should not burden households or businesses.
In its resolution on the involvement of organised civil society in the implementation and monitoring of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) the European Economic and Social Committee calls for clear rules to effectively involve social partners and civil society organisations in the Member states' strategies to bring the economy back on track.
The European Commission relaunched the public debate on the review of the EU economic governance framework in October 2021, almost a year after it was put on hold. Following up on this relaunch, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) held a joint online conference as part of the public debate.
While Europe and its societies are still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the Conference on the Future of Europe in its closing stages, the EESC will be holding its annual Civil Society Days in March 2022.
As we emerge from the pandemic, we are invited to actively play a leading role in co-shaping a new vision for the EU. What is certain is that Europe’s future is closely linked to the future of its industry: strong ambitions require strong and innovative companies that have the means to meet the needs of the digital and green transitions while boosting EU competitiveness.
Europe and its Member States have to deliver wellbeing to the citizens and this can only be done through investments and jobs. This means that the impact which taxes and tax measures have on investments, jobs, trade and growth must be brought to the forefront of the debate.
While the OECD stresses that all taxes have the potential to discourage growth, its analysis of tax structures has found corporate taxes to be the form of taxation that is most harmful to economic growth. Empirical studies confirm that there is a negative relationship between corporate taxes and economic growth.
In order to encourage a broader and more balanced discussion on taxation, the Employers' Group requested that the EESC commission, in 2018, the study on The role of taxes on investment to increase jobs in the EU – An Assessment of Recent Policy Developments in the field of corporate taxes.
Between June 2021 and March 2022, the EESC held a series of events on the updated new industrial strategy. Each event was organised by a different section of the EESC and focused on a specific aspect of the strategy, with the aim of hearing the views of civil society organisations on the future of European industry.
This brochure presents the EESC's opinions, position papers, resolutions and statements calling for the necessary measures to be taken at EU level, or commenting on those that have already been put forward, in order to tackle the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We pushed for a reconstruction and recovery plan that lives up to this unprecedented challenge.
In this brochure, we have put together a series of semester-related opinions and an information report in which the EESC makes policy recommendations on the various elements of the European Semester.