Press Summaries

  • The EESC:

     

    • stresses that MSMEs will need a lot of support to adopt the full range of modern business responsibility practices;
    • recommends developing simple and practical tools such as checklists, templates and calculators, and alternative-scenario analyses which MSMEs can use to develop their operations in line with modern business responsibility and to report on their commitments and achievements;
    • welcomes the European Commission's plan to adopt a non-financial reporting standard applicable to MSMEs in 2024, but insists that it must be clear and simple, in line with the principles enshrined in the SME Relief Package.

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  • The EESC recommends:
     

    • taking measures to strengthen the investment capacity of MSMEs, using funding from the InvestEU SME window and from EU regional funds;
    • prompt adoption of the Late Payments Regulation;
    • developing data analytics, AI and machine learning tools to improve the early detection of MSMEs' financial distress;
    • reducing SMEs' reporting obligations even further than the planned 25% going forward;
    • a full assessment of the barriers that entrepreneurs in Europe face after a business failure.

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  • In the opinion, the EESC

    • calls on the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to adopt an adjusted package of own resources before the end of the current political term of office;
    • acknowledges the need and urgency to add adjustments to the already proposed new own resources and put forward new additional own resources, and in this respect, recognises that, overall, the temporary statistical own resource could contribute to financing NextGenerationEU until the implementation of the "Business in Europe: Framework for Income Taxation (BEFIT)" mechanism;

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  • In the opinion, the EESC

    • believes that the proposed Regulation should assist in leading ESG rating market to maturity by fostering reliable information and raising standards through regulated competition between ratings providers;
    • believes that minimum requirements on the quality of the ratings should be included in order to prevent greenwashing, "social-washing" and other types of misinformation and believes that mandatory inclusion of double materiality should be part of these minimum quality requirements for ESG ratings;

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  • In the opinion, the EESC

    • is convinced that, in light of the persistent inflation, it is important for the social partners and governments to negotiate and agree on national income pacts, which should aim to reduce inflation without hampering investment and growth, while being accompanied by targeted measures to support vulnerable population groups.
    • welcomes the resilience of the eurozone banking system during the recent financial turmoil in the USA and in Crédit Suisse, but nevertheless expresses concern that around 18% of eurozone banking assets are not currently supervised by the Single Supervisory Mechanism;

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  • In the opinion, the EESC

    • advises the ECB to keep adapting its policies to reach a stable 2% inflation target without overtightening.The EESC also suggests using measures other than changing interest rates to lower inflation and stresses the importance of lowering interest rates as soon as possible;
    • backs aligning Member States' fiscal policies with ECB's to manage inflation coherently, highlighting the need for tailored fiscal policy measures due to varying public finances. The EESC emphasizes the importance of targeted fiscal aid for vulnerable groups and firms, alongside supporting research, development, and innovation to boost productivity and maintain competitiveness;

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  • In this opinion the EESC:

    • estimates that the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries are not moving towards decarbonization at the same speed as the EU; the EU Green Deal could serve as inspiration;
    • indicates that energy interconnections are crucial for developing an integrated energy system in the Euro-Mediterranean to the benefit of both shores of the Mediterranean;
    • reminds of the geopolitical, economic and social consequences of energy transition and calls on the European Union to mitigate the effects for “transition losers;

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  • In the opinion, the EESC:

    • welcomes the proposal for a Council Decision on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States. However, it warns of ongoing political instability and high inflation and interest rates as these issues could make it difficult to implement the guidelines and achieve the targets of the European Pillar of Social Rights by 2030;
    • believes it is necessary to strengthen the role of both trade unions and employers' organisations in designing and implementing employment, social and economic reforms and policies, including by building their capacity;
    • advocates making it easier for people to find employment, especially women, young people, persons with disabilities, low-skilled citizens and other vulnerable groups.
  • The EESC:

    • welcomes the ambitious goals for rail transport, which is the backbone of a sustainable transport system. More efficiently allocating infrastructure capacity can create much-needed additional capacity in the short term and improve planning for long-term needs.
  • The EESC:

    • supports the initiative for a harmonised European framework to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for transport services and the need for clear and reliable information to allow consumers to make sustainable decisions regarding transportation;