The European Union has close to 182 million hectares of forests covering 43% of its land area and these forest areas are one of Europe's most important renewable resources. EU forests are exceptionally diverse, with a large variety of forest types, characteristics and ownership structures. They provide multiple benefits for society and the economy whilst being a major source of biodiversity.
On 24 October 2023 the European Commission adopted a set of actions to better prevent and mitigate critical medicine shortages in the EU. Recent critical shortages, including of certain antibiotics last winter, show that continued coordinated action is needed to address supply challenges and to make Europe's medicine supply chains more resilient in the long run. The main objective of the Communication is to prevent and mitigate critical shortages at EU level, focusing in particular on the most critical medicines, for which security of supply in the EU must be ensured at all times.
Reporting requirements are key for the enforcement and monitoring of legislation, but can also lead to burdens on stakeholders. The European Commission, under the REFIT programme, is proposing to streamline reporting obligations and reducing administrative burdens with regards to financial services, the InvestEU programme and certain benchmarks, while allowing the reuse of data for innovation and research purposes.
This opinion focuses on the reform and investment measures in the Member States, in particular those based on the Country-Specific Recommendations 2023, and their implementation, in order to assess the effectiveness of these measures and the possibilities for better targeting of proposals, improved implementation and the monitoring and involvement of organised civil society in the procedures. This opinion also looks at issues concerning the ongoing reform of the EU’s economic governance rules, the central objective of which is to strengthen public debt sustainability while promoting sustainable and inclusive growth in all Member States through reforms and investment. Moreover, the opinion continues the previous consultation exercises by examining the state of the implementation of the reforms and investments provided for in the national Recovery and Resilience Plans and which are financially supported by RRF funds.