At the request of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the EESC is drawing up this opinion to suggest recommendations on how to tackle inequalities, foster upwards social convergence and strengthen social security systems and ensure its long-term affordability, in an EU economic governance framework/European Semester defined around debt sustainability, productive investments and reforms. This opinion is also focusing on the implications of such a framework for the European Semester, and the further strengthening of the social pillar herein. Finally, the opinion also looks at ways of continuing to further develop fiscal instruments that have a stabilising role at the European level, based e.g. on the experience of SURE.
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. This communication outlines the economic and employment policy priorities for the EU for the following 12 months, with a view to mitigating the negative impacts of the energy shocks in the short term and to foster sustainable growth and increase the EU’s resilience in the medium term. The structured approach, like in previous years, centres around the four dimensions of competitive sustainability and in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The ASGS also continues to guide Member States in the implementation of the national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs). The EESC's opinion on the ASGS 2024 is due to be adopted at the plenary session of 24-25 February 2024.
The purpose of the opinion is to contribute to the further development of the foresight in the EU policy-making. The opinion will comment on the Commission's 2023 Annual foresight Report, which focused on the sustainability and people's wellbeing at the heart of Europe's Open Strategic Autonomy.
The proposal for a Directive to amend the Package Travel Directive aims to make the protection of travellers more effective, including in crisis situations.
EU competitiveness beyond 2030: looking ahead at the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Single Market.
The Commission is proposing to modernise and simplify rules on out-of-court dispute resolution to adapt them to digital markets. This proposal will expand the range of issues that can be resolved through the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive out-of-court, including matters related to misleading advertising, access to services and unjustified geoblocking. To make this option more accessible to consumers, designated bodies such as the European Consumer Centres Network will assist consumers in understanding and accessing alternative dispute resolution procedures. The goal of the proposal is also to expedite the procedures. Improvements brought by the new rules: i) expanding the scope of the Directive; ii) incentivising the participation of businesses; iii) improving Consumer Assistance.
SMEs face major uncertainties, supply constraints, labour shortages and unfair competition.
Proposal for a Directive of the European parliament and of the Council amending Directives 1999/2/EC, 2000/14/EC, 2011/24/EU and 2014/53/EU as regards certain reporting requirements in the fields of food and food ingredients, outdoor noise, patients’ rights, and radio equipment.