Within the EU customs union, the customs authorities of EU Member States are responsible for carrying out a wide range of checks before goods are carried out on EU customs territory, aimed at protecting EU revenues as well as the security, safety, health and prosperity of EU citizens and businesses. The Commission communication sets out an action plan to translate President von der Leyen's policy directions into tangible benefits for European society, businesses and citizens. Given the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure an efficient management of the EU customs union.
The Single Window is defined as a facility which allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements. The proposal establishing the European Union Single Window Environment for Customs is the first step in implementing a wider action plan launched in September 2020, fully in line with the Commission’s long-term vision of taking the Customs Union to the next level.
The aim of this own - initiative opinion is to put forward recommendations to overcome existing obstacles that prevent persons with disabilities from voting in EP elections in the EU. Indeed, in each of the 27 EU countries, there are rules or organisational arrangements that deprive some voters with disabilities of their right to vote. The EESC considers this unacceptable and contrary to the fundamental values of the EU, to the provisions of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and to many international legal and political acts. Therefore, the EESC calls on the EP, the European Council and Member States to urgently amend the 1976 Electoral Act by clarifying the principles of universality, directness and secrecy of elections, so as to allow the implementation of common standards granting the right to vote to all EU citizens.
Through this opinion, requested by the German Presidency of the Council, the EESC recognises the essential role of smoothly functioning public services in defending core EU values. The opinion highlights their particular role in times of crisis, like COVID-19, which calls for the maximum human and financial support. The EESC proposes common European principles to support the role of public services in defence of democracy. They include the principles of neutrality, legality, proportionality, equal treatment and transparency; the right to good administration; independent oversight; the protection of public services staff against decisions breaching the rule of law; accessibility; interoperability; and the respect of the rule of law including when receiving EU funds.