In an opinion adopted at its plenary session on 23 February, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomed the communication of the European Commission (EC) on this year's Annual Sustainable Growth Survey, outlining the priorities and guiding principles for the 2022 European Semester cycle. The Committee applauded the unprecedented actions of solidarity taken by the EU in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. The impact on economic activity, however, has been significant, and the level of uncertainty in Europe continues to rise.
Taxation is a major tool for meeting public financing needs, as well as for supporting growth and job creation, both during the recovery and in the future, for a green and digital transition in the EU. In an opinion, adopted at its plenary on 23 February, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomed the long-awaited European Commission (EC) initiative on the strategy on business taxation in the 21st century. However, the Committee also points out possible shortcomings and suggests additional key areas to be addressed.
EESC plenary debate with Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for An Economy that Works for People
In its opinion on the Euro area's economic policy for 2021, the European Economic and Social Committee welcomes the Commission's recommendations, but calls for a shift in fiscal rules towards a more prosperity-oriented form of economic governance, including a golden rule for public investment.
- European Green Deal must lead to more economic prosperity and convergence
- Sustainable growth must be a top priority
- Measures to close the investment gap are essential
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires more than political commitment, says the European Economic and Social Committee. Increased investment, especially by the private sector, is needed to address current economic, social and environmental challenges. The Committee therefore advises the EU and its Member States to adjust their investment and tax policies to enhance growth prospects, and thereby private sector contributions, to accomplishing the SDGs.
The EESC draws forward-looking conclusions from the 2019 Semester and the Committee's civil society consultations in the Member States
The European Union should grasp the opportunity of the new political mandate and financial period to improve its economic policy coordination and governance. The European Semester should become the most important element of economic policy coordination and a multi-level and multi-actor governance approach should be implemented, says the European Economic and Social Committee. It suggests that an EESC competence centre for exchange of information could be established to address implementation concerns in relation to a future EU strategy.
At its plenary session in July, the European Economic and Social Committee presented proposals for the economic agenda of the upcoming legislative period (2019-2024) and recommended that they should form the basis of a new European economic strategy. The Committee's proposals seek to develop more resilient and sustainable EU economic policies within an improved governance framework for the Economic and Monetary Union.
The European Economic and Social Committee has called on EU leaders in a recently adopted opinion to step up efforts to strengthen the international role of the euro, on the eve of the Euro Summit taking place on Friday, 21 June in Brussels. It underlines that this would be desirable, but also necessary, as a strong euro would contribute to the wellbeing of EU citizens and businesses, uphold common values and promote common interests.