The forthcoming Presidency of the Council of the EU (Germany), aims to further discuss and analyze the policy objective 1 under the Common Provisions Regulation for cohesion policy that refers to '' a smarter Europe by promoting innovative and smart economic transformation''. In this context, the Presidency has asked the EESC to provide an opinion on how the structural measures and cohesion policy programmes can help in this process. The Presidency plans to present the key findings of this discussion in a High-level conference that will take place on 29th of September where also the opinion of EESC will be discussed.
The annual Union work programme for European standardisation for 2020 identifies priorities for European standardisation. The EESC agrees with the Commission that standardisation is crucial to the strategy for the single market and that it should be constantly updated. Moreover, the EESC considers that there is an urgent need to modernise the European standardisation system to meet global challenges with an innovative process of cooperation.
This exploratory opinion of the incoming Croatian Presidency should concentrate on the question, how the achievements and advantages of the Single Market could be better presented to the citizens and businesses in order to ensure their support in further efforts towards developing a comprehensive and long-term Single Market strategy for the future.
Administrator in charge Ana Dujmovic, Assistant Nadja Kačičnik
On 5 February 2020, the European Commission published its Communication Enhancing the accession process – A credible EU perspective for the
Western Balkans, proposing a new methodology for candidate countries of the Western Balkans with the objective to render the accession process more coherent, respond to concerns of certain Member States expressed in October 2019 and enable the enlargement process to continue.
The incoming German EU Presidency has listed this file as one of their top priorities in the field. This is in line with their long-standing interest to the issue of due diligence and corporate social responsibility, which they had tabled during their Presidency of the G7 in 2015 and G20 in 2017. The German government wants an EU legislation on the issue and they would welcome the EESC opinion. They are encouraged by the launch of a Commission study on Sustainable supply chains back in January 2020. They would ideally like to present the EESC opinion during their high-level conference scheduled on 6-7 October 2020.