Transition to a circular economy is a must if we are to protect our planet, but also if we are to increase the competitiveness of European industry. This is a long-term process that will require numerous initiatives at European, national and regional level. Companies see the circular economy as an opportunity. "Going green" is beneficial not only for the environment, but also for businesses, providing real savings in terms of raw materials, water and energy. Apart from its environmental and economic benefits, the circular economy also has social advantages, providing new jobs and new business models.
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The opportunities presented by the digital industrial revolution require a coordinated response from all stakeholders, a renewed focus on skills and the setting up of regional networks. The European Union urgently needs an “EU 4.0 industrial strategy” – and to complete the Digital Single Market – in order to address the current fragmentation resulting from 28 separate digital policies. This was one of the key points contained in the EESC’s opinion entitled “Industry 4.0 and digital transformation: where to go”, ...
The ongoing digital transformation will have a tremendous impact on industry, business and citizens alike. Therefore, the European Union should actively prepare for a new post-industrial era so that it can seize the opportunities it brings. The closer the cooperation between business, academia and governments, the bigger the benefits will be – concluded the speakers at the seminar "Driving Innovation and Industry in Europe", which took place on 16 June in Cambridge, UK. The participants of the round table discussion attempted to identify the main issues and obstacles that industry and academia face when trying to cooperate more closely.
Trends are always welcome in industry even though I maintain that we must constantly innovate to anticipate the trends. It takes a lot to establish a trend that might be important as regards getting good results for the manufacturing system.
Not since the late 1970s, when Europe adopted the so-called “Davignon rescue plan” for its steel, have we witnessed a more serious crisis in the European steel sector. This time it is caused by illegal foreign trade practices. Today, once again, European mills are idled. Plant continue to be shut down, the most recent case being in the UK. European workers are laid off. The EU has seen a 120% surge in Chinese imports since 2013, with 7 000 steelworkers having lost their jobs across Europe since autumn 2015.
The EU-China Round Table's 14th meeting was hosted by the EESC in Brussels on 18-19 May 2016. The Round Table was set up in 2007 following a Decision taken by the 9th EU-China Summit, which acknowledged that the exchanges and cooperation between the EESC and its Chinese counterpart, the China Economic and Social Council (CESC), formed an integral part of the EU-China relationship. Topics on the agenda included ...
Nothing can escape today's digital revolution. The "internet of things", 3D printing, artificial intelligence, big data, online platforms and the sharing economy are bringing new businesses into the digital arena and create new opportunities for innovative SMEs and start-ups. The digital revolution is bringing about changes in modes of production and patterns of consumption, how we understand the world, and even how we live together as a society.
The transport sector is vital to the EU’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and meet greenhouse gas emissions targets, which have been revised following the recent UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21). But transport is also fundamental for the EU's economy and people's welfare. The EESC is working to help Europe navigate towards a greener future.
On 14-15 January, four projects funded by the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development held a conference in Brussels, co-hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee, to present their findings, conceptual developments, concrete messages and policy recommendations on Responsible Research and Innovation.
The economy for the common good in the spotlight at the European Parliament
At an event organised in the European Parliament on 10 December 2015, EESC member Carlos Trias Pintó discusses with European policymakers and key stakeholders how to further advance towards a "European Ethical Market" based on the principles set out in the "Economy for the Common Good".