While the EU is increasing its ambitions under the ‘Fit for 55’ package, Europe's coal regions in transition are facing unprecedented structural change, exacerbated by the major energy crisis resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the damage caused by the COVID -19 pandemic.
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How and who should prepare a plan for the reconstruction of the battered Ukrainian economy? What should be in the plan? Is there an understanding of who can provide the funds for the implementation of this Plan, and how much is needed? What is the possible impact of stopping gas import from Russia? What is the impact of the war on the food value chain? The EESC Employers' Group will discuss these questions with Mr Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the Office of the Ukrainian President and Ukrainian business representatives.
While Europe and its societies are still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the Conference on the Future of Europe in its closing stages, the EESC will be holding its annual Civil Society Days in March 2022.
Emmanuel Macron introduced the French presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) by launching the idea of a new growth model. This new model should make it possible to create employment, reconcile economic development and climate ambition, respond to digital challenges and rely on a redesigned European financial framework.
As we emerge from the pandemic, we are invited to actively play a leading role in co-shaping a new vision for the EU. What is certain is that Europe’s future is closely linked to the future of its industry: strong ambitions require strong and innovative companies that have the means to meet the needs of the digital and green transitions while boosting EU competitiveness.
The cultural and creative sectors were one of the industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, using digital tools, creativity and innovation, artists where able to stay in contact with their audiences, to share content and to bring concerts into living-rooms. New forms of content have emerged, some of them showing the artist recording in their own home and creating a more personal relationship compared with the previous stage-audience separation. Digitalisation has also brought music to people who would otherwise not necessarily have attended a venue, e.g. a classical concert to marginalised or vulnerable groups.
To deliver on the European Green Deal, the European Commission will have to rethink policies in a variety of fields, not least in the agri-food sector. The initiatives linked to agri-food promotion, the renewal of the CAP and the "Farm to the fork" strategy will transform our current reality to achieve a more socially sustainable, environmentally friendly and healthy food production. To make this socio-economic transition a success, it is essential to involve all stakeholders in the reorganization of the European food markets.
The EESC Employers' Group believes that we should provide entrepreneurs with the adequate conditions so that they can thrive and create innovative and decent jobs in a recovering economy. The EESC Employers' Group can play a critical role in creating an enabling and encouraging business environment also for the agri-food sector that meets the challenges and seizes the opportunities of sustainable development.
Digitalisation transforms societies and economies, affecting the way we live, work and relate to one another. Digital services increasingly weave into Europe’s economy and are shaping Europe's digital future and this trend has been further accelerated with the COVID-10 crisis.
As a result, digitalisation is high on the EU policy agenda. The European Commission has been particularly active in launching different initiatives to foster Europe's key political objective of digital sovereignty through ensuring a safe, fair, open and accountable online environment for its citizens and unleashing the potential of its Digital Single Market.
The Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act are two flagship initiatives of Europe's answer on how digital services should be provided and, more generally, on helping European societies take full advantage of the "new Economy".
While changing our approach to the EU Green Deal, the pandemic is also providing a golden opportunity to bring our societies into the future. The event will focus on the role of SGIs in this process, as well as the financial instruments being developed at EU level to achieve the climate ambitions of the EU Green Deal in the aftermath of the pandemic.
The integrity of the Single Market came under heavy pressure during the pandemic. The vast restrictions that Member States imposed at their borders lead to a patchwork of rules, the disruption of value chains and ultimately added to the severe challenges businesses were facing in the COVID19 pandemic. Now that the vaccination rollout is picking up speed, it is time to take a step back to evaluate how the crisis impacted the Single Market and how it can be a powerful resource for a stable economic recovery. The need for a coordinated EU approach will be discussed as well as the impact initiatives, such as the Digital Green Certificate, can have on the economic recovery.