Trade Policy Review - An Open, Sustainable and Assertive Trade Policy
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the health of Europe's citizens and its economy hard, notably its industrial production. The European companies in the sectors with high consumption of resources and energy (REIIs) were already in a precarious situation, and are now undergoing this further, unexpected, crisis.
In the rapid transformation process of the global industrial landscape, digitisation has assumed a fundamental strategic function. It now covers the entire cycle of the value chain of products and services and involves both large enterprises as well as small enterprises and micro enterprises. In this process, the need for flexibility and speed of adaptation often lead to the need to outsource parts of the production process to professionals who often have the position of "freelancers".
The opinion, presenting EESC's position on the four proposals of the Health package published by the European Commission in November 2020, supports and welcomes these initiatives but draws the attention on some elements.
- The EU and Member States should ensure that everyone has equal access to quality, well staffed, well equipped health and social services. This is particularly important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic which has deepened existing inequalities.
- Special attention in future EU policies should be given to healthcare workers and the need to improve working conditions, including pay, recruitment and retention, as well as their health and safety.
- The new EU health package should be combined with the roll-out of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR), particularly its principles 12, 16, 17 and 18 and the Action Plan on the EPSR. It should also be part of achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.
Social economy is a key and a growing contributor to the European economy and the job creation.
This exploratory opinion has been requested by the Portuguese presidency of the Council. Social economy represents a key and a growing contributor to the European economy and the job creation. It has a positive impact on working conditions and the enlargement of the labour market. Social economy has a pivotal role to play in the future Action plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights by promoting social inclusion and a better access to the labour market.
The EU is the world's biggest producer of glass with a market share of around one third of total world production. The industry is known for the quality of its products, its capacity for technological innovation and its skilled labour force. The glass industries comprise five sectors covering different glass products, applications and markets: containers, flat glass, glass fibre, special glasses and domestic glass.