At a time when war has returned to the European continent, culture needs, more than ever, to become a core strategic vehicle of the EU's foreign policy. To unlock its full potential, the EESC calls for the establishment of a fully-fledged multiannual strategic action plan on cultural diplomacy.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) recommends that Digital Innovation Hubs be reinforced to boost the EU’s innovation capacity as part of the transition to a sustainable future. DIHs provide valuable infrastructure for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that might otherwise struggle to become greener and more digital.
In two newly adopted opinions, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) gives updated views on the Commission's Annual Sustainable Growth Survey 2022, which outlines the upcoming economic and employment policy priorities for the EU, as well as on the Recommendations on euro area economic policy for 2022. The EESC calls for a balanced approach that does not jeopardise the EU's social and environmental goals.
The EESC is urging the European Commission and Member States to quickly develop a plan to increase the EU's preparedness for emergencies. In particular, the plan should increase the EU’s sovereignty in energy generation, food and water production and the mining of raw materials.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls on the EU and Member States to implement more concrete measures to support the health, housing and financial needs of the growing number people taking on long-term caregiving responsibilities of a family member.
In an own-initiative opinion, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has called for the EU to adopt a comprehensive approach to providing more support and faster treatment for rare disease patients.
Criticism raised by civil society mainly concerns questions about the legitimacy, consistency and transparency of this arbitration system. A new model for international investment governance needs to be developed, in order to fill the significant gap between the investment system on the one hand and effective protection of labour rights and the environment on the other.
Millions of construction workers risk getting cancer from asbestos exposure during the EU-wide building renovation wave. To better protect them, organised civil society has called for stricter exposure limits than the European Commission proposes in its amended Asbestos at Work Directive.
Additional measures proposed by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) would strengthen a European Commission proposal aimed at countering abusive lawsuits against those who contribute to public debate on topical issues, including journalists and rights defenders. These measures include the introduction of preliminary rulings, time limits, or exclusion of the possibility for a person other than the plaintiff to fund legal action.
In an own-initiative opinion, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) recommends promoting the use of hybrid debt to fund SMEs. This would diversify funding sources and reduce reliance on bank loans, while encouraging investment and supporting the Capital Markets Union.