EESC plenary to debate priorities of Slovenia's EU presidency with Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar

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PLENARY SESSION: 7-8 July 2021

Charlemagne building and online

Highlights of the European Economic and Social Committee's July plenary:

  • 7 July, 2.45 pm The EESC plenary will host a debate on A post-Covid economy that works for all - Towards a well-being economy? with economists Tim Jackson and Fabrice Murtin, Club of Rome co-president Sandrine Dixson-and James Watson, director of Economics at Business Europe.
  • 7 July, 5.00 pm Jayant Narayan, head of World Economic Forum's Global AI Action Alliance, will join the EESC for a discussion on Artificial Intelligence and Real Values: Our Digital Future.
  • 8 July, 10.00 am Slovenia's Foreign Affairs Minister Anže Logar will present the priorities of the incoming Slovenian presidency of the EU.

7 July, 2.30 to 7.30 pm, 8 July, 9 am to 12.30 pm

Key opinions to be put to the vote:

COVID-19 and economic recovery

  • NextGenerationEU funding strategy (ECO/548, rapporteur Judith VORBACH – AT, Workers)

Sound and sustainable funding of the Next Generation EU initiative together with solid risk management are essential to recover from the coronavirus crisis and are in the very interests of civil society. As it will decisively increase the financial obligations of the Union, borrowing to fund Next Generation EU will have to be based on democratic control, legitimacy and transparency. More

Climate crisis

  • New EU strategy on adaptation to climate change (NAT/815, rapporteur Dimitris Dimitriadis – Employers, EL; co-rapporteur Kęstutis KUPŠYS - Diversity Europe, LT)

The EESC welcomes the New EU strategy on adaptation to climate change as a crucial step towards the European Green Deal target of climate neutrality and resilience by 2050.In the EESC's view, placing equity at the core of its implementation is key to protect European citizens' lives and livelihoods, especially of those who are traditionally hit more harshly by climate-related extreme weather effects. More

Social Europe

  • Action plan on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (SOC/679, rapporteurs Cristian PÎRVULESCU – Diversity Europe, RO, and Carlos Manuel Trinidade – Workers, PT)

Describing it as very timely, the EESC welcomes the Action plan on the EPRS and its implementation at EU and national level. The EESC also welcomes the political consensus built around the EPSR during the Social Summit in Porto with the Porto Commitment and the Council's Porto Declaration. As the pandemic aftermath will still be strongly pervading all aspects of society and economy, the EU and the Member States will have to put in place the proper infrastructure to meet all the challenges arising from the EPSR, both in the medium and long term. A functioning civil and social dialogue and the active involvement of the social partners will have a crucial role in securing the EPSR's proper implementation. More

  • Strategy on the rights of persons with disabilities (SOC/680, rapporteur Ioannis Vardakastanis – Diversity Europe, EL)

The EESC hails the new EU Disability Strategy as a clear step forward in ambition compared to the strategy that was in force in the previous decade. However, it warns that the lack of binding measures and hard legislation could stand in the way of its sound implementation, necessary to improve the lives of some 87 million Europeans with disabilities.  One of the flaws in the strategy is the absence of specific reference to women and girls with disabilities and of concrete proposals to fight their discrimination. More

  • EU strategy on the rights of the child (SOC/682, rapporteur Kinga JOÓ – Diversity Europe, HU; co-rapporteur Maria del Carmen BARRERA CHAMORRO – Workers, ES)

With one in four children in the EU growing up at a risk of poverty and social exclusion, a coordinated EU approach is needed to break the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage. The EU's two initiatives aiming to better protect children have been met with approval, but action is needed at all levels. The EESC recommends that the national action plans on the Child Guarantee include a set of two- and multi-generation measures to develop supports for both children and their parents. It also suggests that all Member States - and not only those in which child poverty is above the EU average -  earmark ESF+ funding for lifting children out of poverty, taking as a minimum the designated 5%. More

Consumer rights

  • Review of the Roaming Regulation (INT/934, rapporteur Christophe LEFÈVRE – Workers, FR)

The EESC proposes a number of improvements to the revised roaming regulation, including for the use of mobile devices in cross-border areas with non-EU countries, and stresses that the ultimate aim should be to make the EU a single tariff zone, offering calls and data consumption at local rates to all mobile phones and landlines of customers who have a telephone subscription in Europe More


  • Intermodal transport and multimodal logistics – making modes complementary in greening transport (TEN/747, rapporteur Stefan Back – Employers, SE)

The Committee argues that efficient and sustainable multimodal transport and logistics can become a reality only by dealing with the problems that make them more expensive, slower and less reliable than unimodal road transport. There is no need for additional financial promotion or a new dedicated regulatory framework. More


  • Trade Policy Review – An open, sustainable and assertive Trade Policy (REX/539, rapporteur Timo Marko Johannes VUORI – Employers, FI-I; co-rapporteur Christophe QUAREZ – Workers, FR)

The EESC supports an open, strategic and assertive trade policy to improve market access and level the playing field. In practice, it must drive sustainable growth, competitiveness, decent jobs and better consumer choices via a sound mix of external and internal policies. Also, modernising the Word Trade Organisation is a top priority to deliver a modern trade agenda with environmental and social issues at its heart. More


  • Action Plan on synergies between civil, defence and space industries (CCMI/179, rapporteur Manuel GARCÍA SALGADO – workers, ES: co-rapporteur Jan PIE, CCMi delegate, SE)

The EESC believes that the initiative to promote synergies between EU-funded instruments, while also facilitating cross-fertilisation between civil, defence and space industries, can enhance European strategic autonomy and technological sovereignty and improve our security. The EESC takes the view that the Action Plan should not limit itself to identifying existing opportunities for synergies, but also point the way to a more systematic one that creates synergies by design. More


EESC plenary session

Charlemagne building and online

7 July, 2.30 to 7.30 pm, 8 July, 9 am to 12.30 pm

Watch the plenary session here - The agenda is available here