One of the main conclusions of the 8th Cohesion Report is that although cohesion and convergence among regions in the European Union has improved, there are still remaining gaps especially in less developed regions related with their territorial characteristics. EU islands, mountain areas and sparsely populated areas still face many challenges on their growth and income and disparities exist.
In these regions, there are still a lot of gaps in terms of employment and investment, social exclusion is evident and gender disparities have not diminished.
The focus of current informal discussions in the Council is on how cohesion policy can adjust to the new circumstances following the unforeseen shocks that Europe has faced in the last years without losing its long-term development goals. The Spanish Presidency refers to "Cohesion policy 2.0" in this context, which particularly means that cohesion policy needs to be transformed and become more modern and flexible. Also, it will need to take into account the RRF which will come to an end at some time.
Every year in February, the EESC adopts an opinion on Annual Sustainable Growth Survey, which the Commission usually presents at the end of November in the year before. The Committee works under tight deadlines, in anticipation of the referral, to finalise the opinion before the March Council discussion on the topic. To reinforce the Committee's impact throughout the entire European Semester, an own-initiative opinion with additional considerations is regularly produced by October taking into account the overall European Semester, which plays a central role in implementing the Recovery and Resilience Facility and is vital in current discussions about the review of the EU macro-economic governance framework.
The heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) sector is responsible for more than a quarter of GHG emissions from road transport in the EU and for over 6% of total EU GHG emissions. In 2019, GHG emissions from HDVs were 44% and 37% higher than emissions from total aviation and maritime transport respectively.
The HDV CO2 emission standards are key drivers for reducing CO2 emissions in the sector. The general objective of the Commission proposal is to provide new emission standards to reduce CO2 emissions and contribute to the shift to zero-emission mobility in the broader context of increased EU climate ambition by 2030 and EU climate neutrality by 2050.
EU countries currently regulate and implement the framework for compulsory licensing of patents in the EU using different, fragmented procedures.
The decarbonisation of European industry and the role of innovation and digitalisation in driving it
Following Bureau Decision of 12 December 2022, the CCMI will draw up an exploratory opinion requested by the Spanish Presidency.