The absence of economic and social convergence among Member States and regions is a threat to the political sustainability of the European project and all the benefits it has brought to European citizens. Developing economic and labour market resilience with economic, social, environmental and institutional sustainability should be the principle guiding policies. This will foster upwards convergence and fairness in the transition towards a climate-neutral economy while managing the challenges posed by digitalisation and demographic change.
In the opinion, the Committee states that taxation policy in general and combating tax fraud in particular must remain a priority for the next European Commission. In this line, the EESC endorses a debate on gradually shifting to QMV and the ordinary legislative procedure in tax matters, while recognising that all Member States must at all times have sufficient possibilities to participate in the decision-making process. Moreover, the Committee believes that any new rule must be fit-for-purpose and that certain conditions need to be met to successfully implement QMV: a sufficiently strong EU budget; better coordinated economic policy; and a substantial analytical work assessing to what extent current tax measures have been insufficient.
Criticism raised by civil society mainly concerns questions about the legitimacy, consistency and transparency of this arbitration system. A new model for international investment governance needs to be developed, in order to fill the significant gap between the investment system on the one hand and effective protection of labour rights and the environment on the other.
Diversity Europe Group President Séamus Boland, EESC plenary debate on the 'EU priorities for recovery and the implementation of the 2022 European Commission work programme', 9 December 2021
At a meeting of the Parliament's Committee on Budgets on 9 October, EESC member Javier Doz Orrit assured the European Parliament of the EESC's full support in the quest for a strong Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027.