Press Summaries

  • The EESC:

    • endorses the proposal to allow a maximum additional weight of 4 tonnes for zero-emission (ZE) lorries only, but calls for a rigorous monitoring policy post-adoption, including immediate policy change should the desired impact not be achieved. However, the EESC is concerned that implementing this Directive may lead to a reverse modal shift. Only by enabling fair framework for all modes of transport, sufficient transport capacity can be guaranteed. The long-term goal of greening the commercial road transport can however be further incentivised;
  • The EESC:

    • underlines that the green transition of the shipping sector must take into account country-specific, sector-specific and job-specific characteristics in order to maintain Europe's competitive advantages and reduce transition gaps, inequality and the depopulation of some regions;
  • The EESC:

    • considers that local and regional authorities need to favour "extended collective" self-consumption projects;
    • believes that it would be useful to make it possible for everyone to use electricity produced outside the immediate vicinity of the individual or collective self-generation installation;
  • The EESC:

     

    • asks to further investigate the plan to create a centralised system for Standard Essential Patents with the help of experts and competent authorities;
    • stresses that the proposal for a Compulsory Licensing system as it stands does not meet the criteria of transparency and fairness to all stakeholders and respect of fundamental rights; 
    • recommends that Compulsory Licensing for crisis management for European and unitary patents be managed by a technically competent court like the Unified Patent Court.
  • The Committee suggests the EU should:

     

    • attract experts in fields like environmental protection, communication, customer support and social security to work in customs;
    • adopt a clear strategy to incorporate AI into customs systems while prioritising ethical considerations throughout the process;
    • drop the proposal to consider an application to be denied if a customs authority fails to communicate its decision within the set deadlines;
    • provide EU companies with unrestricted access to all laws, regulations, guidelines and advice that are linked to customs operations. It also proposes a dedicated role for the EU Customs Authority in supporting SMEs.
  •  

    The EU should:

     

    • recognise that voluntary and non-binding measures are not enough to address the complex challenge of upholding social and environmental standards across global value chains;
    • ensure binding compliance with all international rules and standards in trade agreements, starting with rules on illicit trade in resources;
    • support production chain digitalisation; 
    • involve the European Parliament, as more than an observer, in the European Critical Raw Materials Board. 
  • In the opinion, the EESC:

    • Calls for more robust measures to support European honey producers, including stringent marketing standards, systematic testing of imported honey, and mandatory origin labelling for honey blends, detailing the percentage of each honey origin in descending order.
    • Suggests evaluating the impact of "no added sugars" labelling on fruit juice consumption compared to fresh fruits. Proposes requiring nectar producers to include "contains added sugars" when applicable and phasing out "with no added sugars".
    • Believes that increasing the fruit content in extra jams beyond 450 g/kg won't reduce sugar content but supports raising the fruit content to 400 g/kg in standard jams.
  • In the evaluation report, the EESC

    • stresses the need for better, timely, and consistent information regarding the progress of the national Recovery and Resilience Plans. This includes details like intermediary beneficiaries and final recipients, covering at least the total amount of the contract, the scope and the conclusion;
    • insists on addressing the slow pace of project implementation and calls on the Commission and national governments to simplify procedures, reduce bureaucracy, provide support to ensure effective and timely execution, and provide targeted assistance to SMEs;

    ...

  • In the opinion, the EESC:

    • reasserts the key role played by civil society organisations (CSOs) in democracy, and regrets that EU support does not match the centrality of their role and responsibilities;
    • supports setting up a financial instrument specifically dedicated to CSOs working on human rights and democracy within the EU, equivalent to the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) available for extra-EU activities;
    • supports the establishment of a platform similar to "Protect Defenders" for human rights defenders working in EU Member States, and encourages the European Commission to set up an alert and monitoring system to deal with challenges and threats facing CSOs.
  • In the opinion, the EESC:

    • affirms the enduring principle of cohesion policy, "leaving no one behind," and civil society's commitment to advancing it through a robust EU investment policy;
    • emphasizes the negative impact of unequal opportunities on long-term growth and competitiveness at regional, national, and EU levels. Calls for greater flexibility and diversity in cohesion policy to effectively address individual needs;
    • Supports SME sustainability and seeks ways to finance larger companies, especially in strategic technology, through the new STEP (Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform);