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At the January meeting of the Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society (TEN), the members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) discussed how to tap into the potential of "neurodiversity", which could also help people within these so-called cognitive minorities to integrate socially.


The EU should create the conditions for positive coexistence between online and offline, large, medium-sized, small and micro retailers, says the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in its response to the Commission's communication A European retail sector fit for the 21st century. Quality, consumer choice and awareness, together with the impact on society, should shape its vision of retail's future.

Money laundering

In a recently adopted opinion, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the European Commission's proposal to amend the European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS) with the objective of better tackling money laundering and terrorist financing in the European banking and financial sector, but calls for more comprehensive measures. These issues are, in its view, becoming increasingly dangerous in terms of the stability, safety and reputation of financial institutions and the financial sector as a whole. Additional measures are therefore of the utmost importance.


At a time when major global players have initiated a trade war and protectionism is back in many parts of the world, the European Commission is promoting the establishment of a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes. In relation to this initiative, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls for fundamental questions on scope, protection of public interest, accessibility and relations with domestic courts to be addressed.


The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) fully supports the Commission's proposal on decommissioning nuclear facilities and managing radioactive waste. However, the Committee recommends adopting a more sustainable approach and closer monitoring of activities in sensitive areas such as the protection of workers from radiation. Involvement of civil society in the monitoring process is central. The social and economic consequences should also be assessed.


Clean energy is a top priority and fusion technologies could provide a long-term solution. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) emphasises the great potential of nuclear fusion for achieving clean energy and believes that the Commission should link the ITER project more closely to the European fusion research organised by the EUROfusion consortium.


The 2021-2025 Euratom research and training programme is hugely important, says the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), and budget allocated in the Commission proposal is proportionate to its objectives and should be maintained regardless of Brexit. Investing in education and training is a central factor in attracting young people to research and technology careers.

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Representatives of civil society bodies discussed in Brussels the current situation of Montenegro's EU accession negotiation at the 12th meeting of the EU-Montenegro Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC). All the participants welcomed in a final joint declaration the accelerated growth of Montenegro's economy in 2018, as well as the fall of unemployment.