This document provides a summary of the discussion entitled "Bridging the skills gap for growth and job creation", which was held in Sofia (Bulgaria) on 22 March 2018. The conference was organised by the Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee together with the Association of the Organizations of the Bulgarian Employers. The seminar was included in the calendar of meetings of the Bulgarian Presidency to the Council of the EU.
Digitalisation is transforming business landscapes and the world of work, and redefining the boundaries of production, consumption and distribution. This has created tremendous opportunities, as new products, processes and techniques have emerged, but has also created threats, as new ways of employment pose new challenges to employers and employees. The overall consequences on labour markets are, however, still highly uncertain, which is reflected in the wide variation in the outcomes of the existing research.
The "Smart Cities" project is a follow-up to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) own-initiative opinion on smart cities as a driver of a new European industrial policy, adopted in July 2015.
The EESC "Smart Islands" project is based on the own-initiative of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on Smart islands TEN/558.
The EU enjoys the status of a global trade powerhouse. It is thereby uniquely positioned to shape the development of a rules-based global trading system and influence its external growth.
The recent economic and political developments in Europe are a wake-up call for our leaders to take swifter action in order to strengthen the foundations of our Union, including the fragile political and institutional architecture underpinning the euro, thus ensuring lasting stability and prosperity for the people of Europe.