The EESC strongly supports the goal of redirecting investments in such a way that they contribute to the EU's transition to a sustainable economy but calls for the social partners and civil society to be brought better on board in the design and implementation of sustainable finance. The EU green bond standard has the potential to yield significant economic benefits for both issuers and investors alike and help the green transition.
Sekcja ds. Unii Gospodarczej i Walutowej oraz Spójności Gospodarczej i Społecznej (ECO) - Related Opinions
The EESC strongly believes in the importance of the next Semester cycle as a key instrument for implementing the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
However, it is still concerned about the lack of clarity in most Member States as regards their National Recovery and Resilience Plan governance systems and the distribution of responsibilities for their implementation.
The EESC would also draw attention to the need to measure progress in implementation, for which good monitoring indicators are needed; in this connection it welcomes the "Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard" initiative.
Moreover, the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for a strong industrial policy to avoid dependence on other economic zones for many products and services.
The EESC wants to see real action in this respect by Member States, in terms of investment in education, infrastructure and industrial policy to raise employment and boost European industry.
Member States prepared their recovery and resilience plans that set out a coherent package of reforms and public investment projects. To benefit from the support of the Facility, these reforms and investments should be implemented by 2026.
Opinia EKES-u: The role of cohesion policy in combatting inequalities in the new programming period after the COVID-19 crisis. Complementarities and possible overlaps with the RRF and the national recovery plans (Own-initiative opinion)
The EESC underscores the potential key role of the Sustainable Finance Taxonomy Delegated Regulation in creating a clear, coherent and comprehensive framework to highlight the ambitious development of a greener economy without lock-in effects. The taxonomy should build on technical criteria that clearly define the green investments that directly contribute to Europe's climate objectives.
It is essential that efficient, easily applicable, innovative and productive tools are used, to bring about rapid and readable results, and by also preventing "greenwashing". However, the EESC poses the question as to whether the technical criteria set out in the Delegated Regulation do indeed meet the fundamental prerequisite of appearing reasonable, realistic and acceptable, and takes note of the concerns of real economy actors regarding the negative effects of the Delegated Regulation on financing possibilities and costs.
The Own Resources Decision (ORD) entered into force on 1 June, enabling the Commission to start borrowing resources for the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument. For the EESC, a well-functioning funding strategy is key for the smooth implementation of NGEU. Sound and sustainable funding and solid risk management are in the very interests of civil society. Moreover, borrowing and debt management has to be based on democratic control, legitimacy and transparency.
The EESC stresses how important it is that the Commission manage the funding strategy directly and does not outsource this. The massive engagement on capital markets will be accompanied with a broad set of risks. The EESC supports the establishment of solid risk-management systems and the holding of the 'NGEU account' with the ECB.
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