The EESC strongly supports the objectives of the Energy Union and encourages EU society to take full ownership of this project. The Energy Union is not only relevant to sectoral policies such as energy, transport and climate but offers a number of opportunities to make Europe more democratic, cohesive, competitive and just. To this end, an effective energy dialogue with organised civil society at EU, national, regional and local levels is fundamental.
You are here
Stronger, interconnected European energy grids are a prerequisite for the European Energy Union. Only if Europe's energy networks are well developed and integrated can the continent's energy systems achieve their purpose: to provide the people of Europe with affordable, secure, sustainable energy in a competitive way.
The EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform (CSP) urges Kiev to implement more consistent reforms in various sectors and to give the issue of low wages and poverty the highest priority. These issues were addressed at the 6th CSP meeting in Brussels, where members of the platform discussed progress in the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, as well as the role of pay in poverty reduction and its impact on labour migration, and climate change.
The last meeting of the EU-Serbia Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) took place in Brussels on 12 April. The JCC's members discussed the current state of play and the work ahead in the negotiations on Serbia's accession to the EU and adopted a final declaration.
Europe's largest minority, numbering more than ten million people, continue to be discriminated against and marginalised in many Member States of the European Union. Human rights NGOs and EU policymakers who gathered at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) warned that in many cases police continue to use ethnic profiling against Roma people. A public hearing on "Addressing anti-gypsyism in ethnic profiling practices" was part of the third EU Roma Week, held by the EU institutions in Brussels from April 8 to 12.
On 10 April the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a hearing on the EU Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy in Brussels. Opening the event, EESC member Antonello Pezzini stressed that nobody wanted to ban plastic, but rather to adapt the use of plastic to the new environmental challenges. "We need a new mindset and we need innovation in order to achieve recyclable alternatives", he said.
The latest meeting of the EU-Georgia Civil Society Platform (CSP) took place in Tbilisi on 22 March. The CSP's members discussed the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and adopted a joint declaration. The CSP welcomed the announcement, made earlier in March, for a possible new format for higher bilateral sectoral cooperation between the EU and Georgia and expressed its support for the visa-free regime for shorts stays, which has already benefited a large number of Georgian citizens.
Europe should invest in education if it wants to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted an opinion on the future of work, in which it calls on Member States to focus on education and training and adapt their education systems to the needs of the labour markets, which are currently undergoing rapid and dramatic changes brought about by the new digital and industrial revolution.
In order to bridge the skills gap, we must first identify precisely which skills are needed for the future. This remains difficult, due to the rapid pace of change we are seeing today. Adaptation of education systems, development of lifelong learning systems and close cooperation between employers, policy-makers and academics are some of the ways to help people adapt their skills to the demands of future labour markets.
In this era of digitalisation and globalisation, the EESC is calling for major efforts to implement balanced policies that put social, economic and environmental sustainability on an equal footing