Industrial transition towards a green and digital European economy: regulatory requirements and the role of social partners and civil society (exploratory opinion requested by the Parliament) - Related Opinions
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The EESC asserts that businesses and workers must have proper channels for participating in efforts to support environmental protection and combat climate change. While respecting the role of national industrial relations systems and the autonomy of the social partners, the EESC considers that issues related to the green transition could be a stronger focus of collective bargaining at the appropriate levels. It highlights collective bargaining as a key tool that can help companies and workers face the challenges of the climate crisis, including the derived costs for companies.
The EESC welcomes the Commission Communication and the Commission proposal for a Recommendation on strengthening social dialogue in the European Union. The Committee is fully aligned with the view that social dialogue can be a beneficial tool to drive economic and social resilience, competitiveness, and sustainable and inclusive growth. Establishing a common effective framework, to be implemented at national level for the involvement of social partners, might help ensure that effective and quality consultations with national social partners take place.
Democracy at work should cover all workers, types of work, as well as all workplaces, including platform workers. It makes companies more resilient, economically successful and better able to deliver on employment and decent work. Successful forms of democratic participation are also found in the social economy, and cooperatives. European Works Councils (EWCs) could be improved by improving participation rights and sanctioning infringements. More democracy in the world of work depends on cooperation of all stakeholders, and can help ease the green and digital transitions. It is crucial to educate young people in favor of democracy at work.
The EESC notes that the increasing damage caused by the climate emergency and the uncertainties and crises arising from the new geopolitical and energy market situations require the European Union to radically speed up the clean energy transition and increase Europe's energy independence from unreliable suppliers and volatile fossil fuels. It therefore welcomes the European Commission's plans to this end (for example REPowerEU and its additional funding through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF)).
In order to correct or mitigate the negative effects of the energy transition in the current context of fresh emergencies, the EESC proposes that Member States consider appropriate ways to have labour market policies better integrated into regulatory frameworks and environment and energy policies as well as into social welfare policies.
European citizens are interested in developments in the implementation of digital technology solutions, with a view to simplifying the necessary administrative procedures in relation to the authorities or in everyday life in society. A digitally literate population can benefit, through digital identity, from simplified access to the services provided by public authorities or the business environment.
Semiconductors are at the heart of strong geopolitical interests, giving countries the conditions to be able to act (militarily, economically and industrially) and to foster digital and ecological transitions. They are essential for strategic and industrial autonomy.
The EESC welcomes the plan to make European industry more resilient and to strengthen the domestic semiconductor industry.
The EESC welcomes the European Commission's objective of strengthening the semiconductor ecosystem, significantly increasing resilience and security of supply and reducing external dependencies.
The upcoming French Presidency of the Council of the European Union asked the EESC to prepare an opinion on how the industrial ecosystems identified by the Commission will contribute to the EU's strategic autonomy and the well-being of its citizens.
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