Considering the extent of the food security crisis and the urgency to address the issue of excessive commodity speculation, the aim of this own-initiative opinion is to analyse the current situation in more detail; gather experts' views on the impacts of commodity speculation on food price increases and food security worldwide; and provide civil society's recommendations on policy measures that are needed to address excessive price speculation and increase market transparency.
Under the European Green Deal, the Commission committed to present, in 2021, a proposal for more stringent air pollutant emissions standards for combustion-engine vehicles. The latest standards are Euro 6 for light-duty vehicles (cars and vans), and Euro VI for heavy-duty vehicles (trucks, buses and coaches).
This additional opinion on the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2022 takes into account the ongoing Semester process and provides input for the next cycle. This is particularly important this year. Since Russia´s attack on Ukraine the geopolitical landscape has dramatically changed, and policy has been quickly adapted, as reflected in the Communications on RepowerEU and Our European Growth Model. The EESC also points to the outcome of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which envisages further political measures, including a convention to assess the need for Treaty changes. The Semester, which is itself undergoing a systemic change, has proved to be a credible framework for EU policy coordination during the pandemic. In the Spring Package, the implications of the war in Ukraine are again reflected comprehensively.
The Commission intends to work with Member States, the Ukrainian authorities, transport operators, equipment suppliers and all other relevant stakeholders on both sides to establish alternative and optimised logistic routes: the new ‘EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes’. These lanes will facilitate in particular the forwarding of agricultural produce from Ukraine, but also our bilateral trade in goods and access of Ukraine to international markets and global supply chains making sure much needed cereals reach the world market.
The revision of the SUD aims to address the key problem of the limited effectiveness of the SUD in reducing pesticide use and potential risks to human health and the environment across Member States.