Press Summaries

  • 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);

  • In the opinion, the EESC:

    • proposes replacing the 3% deficit requirement with a 0.5% GDP reduction annually, opposing automatic debt sanctions. Recommends national governments initially control the "technical trajectory" with input from fiscal bodies before Commission involvement;
    • suggests distinct evaluations of deficits for green and defense investments. Expands public investment definition to include natural and human capital for green and social objectives. Proposes creating an EU fiscal capacity by 2026 to support common priorities and help Member States with non-investment-related fiscal costs in twin transitions;
    • emphasizes involving social partners and civil society in ongoing consultations;

  • In the opinion, the EESC considers that:

    • The digital euro's success relies on security, confidence, widespread adoption, and a clear European legal framework with exemptions for specific payees and uniform standards across Member States;
    • EU institutions should clearly define potential use cases and design features for the digital euro, conduct continuous research on its impact on finance and society, and foster public debate on its merits and drawbacks. This approach will help secure widespread acceptance;

    ...

  • In the opinion, the EESC:

    • strongly calls for a swift agreement on the revision of the MFF 2021-2027, with a focus on ongoing support for Ukraine and ensuring the EU has the necessary financial resources to address its political priorities. The EESC emphasizes the significance of implementing effective monitoring mechanisms by actively involving civil society in the planning and execution of MFF programs;
    • finds that the changes proposed in the revision are limited, showing a lack of ambition and amounting to merely patching up the framework;

    ...

  • In the opinion the EESC:

    • recognises the urgent need for global action to address communicable and non-communicable diseases, improving disease surillance systems, vaccination programmes, etc;
    • recommends enhancing investment in health to strengthen the EU's global leadership role and underlines that health considerations, including mental health, should be integrated into all areas of EU external engagement;
    • expresses concern about the shortage of healthcare workers and supports seeking formal EU observer status in the World Health Organization and developing robust health diplomacy;

    ....

  • The EESC:

    • Affirms that, in terms of funding, EU maritime security needs entail increased investment by the EU Member States;
    • Considers EU-NATO cooperation as essential and stresses the need to enhance it through better sharing of maritime situational awareness and more effective coordination in different areas of common interest; 
    • Calls on the EU to intensify engagement with international partners to collectively tackle shared concerns, including people smuggling and human trafficking, and the use of hybrid strategies; 

    ...

  • The EESC:

    • The ARCTIC information report - how to ensure a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous future for a geostrategic region;
    • Believes it is in the EU's interest to ensure that the Arctic, as an important geostrategic region, does not change permanently from a low- to a high-tension area with all the inherent risks of unintentional clashes and escalation;
    • Believes it is in the EU's interest to ensure that the Arctic, as an important geostrategic region, does not change permanently from a low- to a high-tension area with all the inherent risks of unintentional clashes and escalation;

    ...

  • In this opinion, the EESC: 

    • calls the EU to step up its efforts on blue diplomacy and streamline it in its foreign policy and external relations, trade and development policies. In this context, the Committee proposes to pay special attention to blue diplomacy in sub-Saharan Africa;
    • asks for the protection of wetlands and biodiversity as an essential part of blue diplomacy and encourages the establishment of a macro-regional strategy for the Mediterranean region;
    • calls for the right funding to improve the existing facilities and infrastructure to ensure fair access to clean water and sanitation for the entire global population. 

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  • The EESC:

    • believes that the revision of the flag State requirements Directive must ensure that flag States fully implement seafarers' rights onboard their ships. The real challenges are strong flag State control, as well as strong port State control in relation to the requirements of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 which goes hand in hand with technical assistance and training provided by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), International Labour Organization (ILO), World Maritime University (WMU), International Training Centre of the ILO, International Maritime Law Institute etc.