The upcoming French Presidency of the Council of the European Union asked the EESC to prepare an opinion on how the industrial ecosystems identified by the Commission will contribute to the EU's strategic autonomy and the well-being of its citizens.
This year’s Annual Sustainable Growth Survey outlines the policy priorities in the coming year and provides guiding principles for implementing them in the 2022 European Semester cycle. The European Semester provides a well-established framework for coordinating the economic and employment policies of the Member States and will continue to play this role in the recovery phase and in advancing on the twin transitions. Like in previous years, the policy priorities will be structured around the four dimensions of competitive sustainability and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The Communication also sketches out the main characteristics of the 2022 European Semester cycle and explains the main changes compared to previous cycles, taking into account the need to adapt to the processes under the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The Action Plan for the Social Economy defines three priority areas: creating the right framework for the development of the sector, setting up opportunities for the development of social economy entities and pushing for the recognition of the social economy and its potential. The EESC welcomes this Action Plan and its various proposals to boost the social and economic role of the social economy. Its considers that it is essential to strengthen even further key areas such as the collaboration between public administrations and social economy organizations and the issues of state aid and taxation.
In 2017, the EESC organised a hearing and adopted a report on the LeaderSHIP 2020 Strategy as regards the maritime technology sector in Europe. This exercise was aimed at paving the way for the adoption of a new LeaderSHIP Strategy beyond 2020. Unfortunately, this strategy was not adopted.
Achieving the digital transition is a fundamental challenge for the European Union in order to maintain a high level of business competitiveness. Winning this challenge is also decisive for global competition, for what could be defined as the maintenance of "digital sovereignty".
The EESC :
The adoption of the European Union Climate law has set an ambitious emission reduction target for 2030 while confirming the climate neutrality objective for 2050. According to the IPCC scenarios, keeping global warming below 1.5°C requires that global anthropogenic net emissions should be zero by around 2050. Secondly, meeting this goal requires the deployment of CDR, which can happen by means of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and removals in the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector. The IPCC defines CDR as "anthropogenic activities removing CO2 from the atmosphere and durably storing it in geological, terrestrial, or ocean reservoirs, or in products".
Already for some time and especially since spring 2021, widespread and abrupt chip shortages have been dragging down industrial output across the EU. Sectors like automotive, consumer electronics, 5G technologies, industrial equipment, and medical devices are severely impacted. The drop comes despite a surge in manufacturers' order books and is seriously hampering the post-COVID economic recovery.