The purpose of this report is to assess the Open Doors Day at the European Economic and Social Committee. The report comprises: a description and analysis of the 2014 event, recommendations for future editions and a presentation of the opportunities the Open Doors Day provides the Committee.
The Workers’ Group (Group II) comprises representatives from national trade unions, confederations and sectoral federations. Its members represent over 80 trade union organisations – the vast majority of them affiliated to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) or its sectoral federations. The Workers’ Group key priorities have always been full employment, the improvement of the living and working conditions of workers in Europe and the well-being of all EU citizens, as well as of workers and their families in other continents.
This publication is part of a series of catalogues published in the context of the exhibitions organized by the EESC.
European industry is a crucial part of the EU economy. Manufacturing still accounts for 80% of EU exports and ¼ of its employment. The goal of increasing manufacturing industry's share of EU GDP to 20% is still some way off. It currently sits at 15.1%. In order to increase this share, European industrial policy must be the focus of EU policy makers. The publication summarises a discussion entitled "Reinforcing European industrial competitiveness" organised by the EESC Employers' Group in November 2014 in Rome, Italy.
The EU is highly dependent on energy resources. More than a half of EU energy consumption is linked to imports. Increasing instability in the Middle East together with the deterioration of EU-Russia relations mean that energy security will remain at the top of the EU's agenda in the coming years. How can we achieve a true energy union? How can interconnectivity be increased between Member States? What should the ideal energy mix look like and how can energy efficiency be increased within the EU? The publication summarises the debate that seeks answers to these questions.
Nearly half of all food gets wasted in the EU each year. This statistic is even more shocking when one considers that 79 million EU citizens live beneath the poverty line and some 16 million depend on food aid from charitable institutions. In 2011, in the wake of the economic and financial crisis, 24.2% of Europeans – 119.6 million people – were on the brink of social exclusion.
At a time when the European Parliament has just started a new term and the European Commission has a new team in place, the European Economic and Social Committee is continuing to move forwards as a committed partner of the Latvian Presidency. As the representative of European civil society, our committee has recently seen confirmation of its key role in building a more democratic European Union in the European Parliament report that has recognised its work as being critical to the success of the European citizens’ initiative. And this is the path on which we wish to continue.
This study examines whether it would be appropriate to introduce a guaranteed minimum income (GMI) at European level. It begins by describing the features of GMI systems implemented in the Member States for individuals of working age who are fit for work as well as the challenges they encounter and current trends. The study then looks at the legal feasibility of a binding European instrument relating to GMI schemes.
Economic and social councils, the institutionalised platforms for social and civic dialogue in the European Union and in most of its Member States, show a broad range of diversity – in set-up, composition and name. This patchwork of practices seems to stem from political, social and economic traditions in the various countries. Another source of variation is the opinion on who is considered a social partner and on how they should be represented in an institutionalised platform.
The objective of this study is to facilitate food donation in the EU by providing a comparative overview of relevant legislation and practices in the Member States, mapping any hurdles they present to efficient food donation and identifying best practices.