EESC welcomes simplification, but asks for more visibility and impact
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The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls for concrete implementation without delay and with a clear and specific timetable of the measures proposed by the European Commission to complete Banking Union and deepen the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
On 20 March the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) together with the Bulgarian Economic and Social Council will host its 20th European Consumer Day. The event will take place in Sofia this year.
Effective integration of legal migrants and refugees will benefit Europe's labour markets, plagued by skills and labour shortages. If tackled properly, the migration challenge could be turned into a real opportunity not only for our economies but also for our society as a whole, participants in the European Migration Forum (EMF) concluded last week.
The second "Energy Day" organised by the EESC in Brussels, on 8 March 2018, looked at the forthcoming changes to the current Gas Directive. In its proposal, the European Commission maintains that gas pipelines from and to third countries should comply with the core principles of existing EU legislation. Some civil society organisations, though, highlight the uncertainty that this new text would bring in legal, commercial and environmental terms.
Social fairness and civil society participation must be at the heart of energy talks at all levels, from local to European. The first of the two "EESC Energy Days" organised in Brussels on 7 March 2018 discussed the state of play and future developments in EU energy policy.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) backs the Commission's proposals on CO2 emissions from passenger cars and commercial vehicles as a balanced compromise between the objectives of climate-neutral mobility, the innovation capacity of the European automotive industry and preserving quality jobs. However, the EESC draws attention to potential challenges to employment, which depends on the pace of the structural transition in the automotive industry.
The third meeting of the EU-Moldova Civil Society Platform (CSP), held on 6 March in Brussels, also discussed the planned extension of Ukrainian hydroelectric plants on the upper Dniester which might have devastating consequences on the Moldovan population and environment.
An action plan focusing on community-led local development, young people and social inclusion was at the heart of the EESC conference on supporting and integrating EU vulnerable regions and people in the EU organised in Sofia on 6 March 2018.
The European Commission's proposal is overdue, and lacks ambition, consistency, and convincing mechanisms for its effective implementation.