Opinions with Employers' Group members as rapporteur/co-rapporteur/rapporteur-general
The central message of this exploratory opinion is the need for a coordinated approach on renewable energies in the region, one that is based on co-development.
The EESC welcomes the Commission document COM(2011) 25 final Tackling the Challenges in Commodity Markets and on Raw Materials and The European raw materials' initiative (RMI) as an important step to tackle this vital issue.
EESC thus urges the EC to monitor the situation in international trade of critical raw materials (as listed in COM(2011) 25 final and with regular updating of this list). In addition, we endorse the need to continue in negotiation at the international level (WTO) to promote free trade also in commodity markets.
The EESC urges a more active foreign policy regarding security of raw materials for EU industry.
The raw material policy must form an integral component of the EU industrial policy.
The EESC thinks that the creation of a strategic stockpile of critical raw materials is among the potential solutions.
The EESC reiterates its firm support to the goal of better energy efficiency as a central part of the Europe 2020 strategy and points out that energy efficiency and saving are predominantly dependent on action by citizens, business and workers and their change of behaviour. The Committee emphasises the responsibility of the Member States, with the EU creating a common framework. It underlines the importance of choosing the right instruments and believes that voluntary agreements are useful while compulsory measures are needed when positive incentives do not work. The EESC does not support setting a binding overall target for energy efficiency but recommends that efforts are focused on achieving real results. Finally it emphasises the need to ensure financial support and investment to realise the big potential in new Member States.
In its opinion the EESC recommends a number of concrete measures to remove the most pressing cross-border tax problems that citizens face.
These measures are in particular aimed at removing double taxation and enhancing administrative simplification in cross-border situations (such as the establishment of one-stop services, the setting up of a Cross-Border Taxation Office).