The condition of the European economy, completing the Single Market, trade and Brexit – these are the top issues for European employers' organisations in the forthcoming months. On 29 March 2017, the Directors-General and Secretaries-General of BusinessEurope, EuroCommerce and Copa-Cogega presented their priorities and debated with the members of the EESC Employers' Group.
The importance of Social Dialogue, the role of employers' organisations, the economic situation in the Balkan countries, progress in the accession process and current political challenges: these were main topics of the discussions at the Balkan Employers' Round Table that took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 22 March 2017. The event brought together representatives of employers' organisations from former Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia).
Representatives of German, French, Swedish and Polish employers' organisations expressed their strong concerns about the revision of the posting of workers directive during the conference entitled "Revision of posting directive – it is not only about posting and workers... Facts and myths". "The proposal is a form of hidden protectionism, undermines the four freedoms, and thereby hampers the single market," said Jacek P. Krawczyk, President of the Employers' Group, in his opening statement. The conference took place on 16 March 2017 in Brussels and was organised by the Polish Confederation "Lewiatan".
On 7th February, as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, the European Economic and Social Committee turns to political leaders, the European civil society organisations which we represent, and all European citizens, with a call: the call for social and economic solidarity, which is urgently needed across Europe. 25 years ago, Europe was in turmoil: the aftermath of the Cold War; the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany; the path of Eastern European countries to democracy, all shaped the zeitgeist. Yet, on this momentous day in 1992, the 12 nations of the European Communities signed this European Treaty, thus creating the European Union as we know it and its greatest achievement, the single currency. Today, the geo-political landscape ...
Transition to a circular economy is a must if we are to protect our planet, but also if we are to increase the competitiveness of European industry. This is a long-term process that will require numerous initiatives at European, national and regional level. Companies see the circular economy as an opportunity. "Going green" is beneficial not only for the environment, but also for businesses, providing real savings in terms of raw materials, water and energy. Apart from its environmental and economic benefits, the circular economy also has social advantages, providing new jobs and new business models.
When the international economic and financial crisis struck, it exposed the structural limitations and contradictions in EMU, depriving the euro of its propensity to attract. The crisis proves that it takes much more than a set of "accountancy" rules such as the stability pact and others, because the underlying problems are not technical but economic and political. Some progress has been made in the past few years by putting in place new rules and mechanisms, notably parts of a Banking Union, but the construction works are far from being completed yet, which contributes to the persisting climate of uncertainty among citizens and business, and hinders the growth potential of the European economy ...
Participants in the discussion with the president of the CoR, Markku Markkula, agreed that the agendas of the European Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee were often aligned and that both advisory bodies should step up their cooperation in order to benefit from these synergies.
The economy for the common good in the spotlight at the European Parliament
At an event organised in the European Parliament on 10 December 2015, EESC member Carlos Trias Pintó discusses with European policymakers and key stakeholders how to further advance towards a "European Ethical Market" based on the principles set out in the "Economy for the Common Good".
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Single Market, the EESC held a debate about the future of the world's largest trading bloc with Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager. The Single Market is widely considered the EU's greatest achievement, but has also shown its limitations in the face of current crises.
At the European Economic and Social Committee plenary session on Wednesday, EESC members discussed the EU's response to geopolitical challenges with Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament. The presidents of both institutions agreed that competitiveness, together with more strategic autonomy, is crucial in the current challenging times.