Opinions with Diversity Europe - Group III members as rapporteur/co-rapporteur/rapporteur-general
The EESC welcomes the Communication as an essential and effective step to enable the digitalisation of justice. It is crucial to support Member States at national level in making this change by providing them not only with the necessary funding, but also with tools. With this support, the digitalisation of justice can be expanded at European level to create mechanisms facilitating closer cross-border cooperation between judicial authorities.
In its opinion, the EESC calls for physical and digital completion of the internal market to be on an equal footing and for a high level of consumer protection to be achieved. It calls for greater durability of goods, access to sustainable products, a clean, circular, more climate-friendly economy and efficient use of products, as well as combating of planned obsolescence and the right to repair goods and products.
The opinion, presenting EESC's position on the four proposals of the Health package published by the European Commission in November 2020, supports and welcomes these initiatives but draws the attention on some elements.
- The EU and Member States should ensure that everyone has equal access to quality, well staffed, well equipped health and social services. This is particularly important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic which has deepened existing inequalities.
- Special attention in future EU policies should be given to healthcare workers and the need to improve working conditions, including pay, recruitment and retention, as well as their health and safety.
- The new EU health package should be combined with the roll-out of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR), particularly its principles 12, 16, 17 and 18 and the Action Plan on the EPSR. It should also be part of achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.
The Commission proposes a new pharmaceutical strategy for Europe. It is a patient-centred strategy that aims to ensure the quality and safety of medicines, while boosting the sector’s global competitiveness. The EU needs to make sure that patients have access to high-quality, effective and safe medicines. It will foster patient access to innovative and affordable medicines. It will support the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the EU’s pharmaceutical industry.
The liberal professions are already very successful in using digital and artificial intelligence applications for the benefit of their clients, and are at the forefront of their technological development. They must continue to be more closely enlisted in the development and validation process in future in order to ensure applications are usable in practice and effective. The liberal professions need to update the content of training in order to ensure their own IT and digital skills and those of their employees are of the highest possible quality standard. The creation of new professions made possible by digitalisation should be encouraged, on the basis of the criteria and principles set out in the Rome Manifesto.