Following the publication of the evaluations on the shortcomings of the Environmental Criminal Directive – ECD, the Commission decided to replace it with a new EU Directive aimed at making the protection of the environment through criminal law more precise, legally secure and effective. In the opinion "Improving environmental protection through criminal law", adopted at the March plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) made concrete proposals to improve the legislation, in order to make it truly effective, proportionate and dissuasive.
Trillions of euros are needed for Europe's economic recovery. EU proposals for accessible investment data and long-term funding must be more flexible and promote a transparent level playing field, to include more investors and businesses in capital markets.
Although the majority of young people were not considered as the main risk group for COVID-19, they were among those who most strongly felt the consequences of the social and economic measures deployed to fight against the spread of the virus
Transparent decision-making and open communication will make the energy transition more acceptable to society despite the potentially higher initial costs, underlines the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). The EU should push for fair distribution and "prosumption" by tapping into the potential of financial incentives, identifying and removing any obstacles to public participation and support.
Set up in 2001, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism seems to no longer be sufficiently capable of responding to disasters linked to climate change and multiple catastrophes, such as the current war in Ukraine. In the opinion Consolidating the EU-Civil Protection, EESC civil society representatives propose establishing a European agency that would link civil protection and humanitarian aid in a more consistent way. At the same time, it could pave the way towards stronger foreign policy actions.
The growth of hatred, expressed both online and offline across Europe, confirms the need to address hate speech and hate crime at EU level, an EESC hearing confirms
Taxation is a major tool for financing the recovery, as well as the digital and green transition. But the old national and international rules are no longer fit for some of the new business models used today. In an opinion adopted during its March plenary, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomed the European Commission's (EC) proposed Directive on a global minimum level of taxation for multinational groups in the EU. However, the Committee also points out possible shortcomings in the proposal and suggests key additions.
In an opinion adopted during its March plenary, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomed the European Commission (EC) proposal to implement the remaining elements of the Basel III international standards in the EU. The aim is to strengthen the resilience of the banking sector while ensuring that it continues to finance economic activity and growth. But the EESC also calls on the EC to find a proper balance between faithful implementation, and the need to reflect the specificities of the EU economy and banks.
On 14 March, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) and the Global Competition Law Centre of the College of Europe organised an online conference on Competition Policy and Social Sustainability to continue the debate on how joint sustainability initiatives can be compatible with competition law.
Ensuring effective and fair taxation across the Single Market is crucial to stimulating a real recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. In an opinion adopted at its March plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) supported the European Commission (EC) proposal on the misuse of shell companies for tax purposes. This is purely a tax directive proposal, however, and the Commission needs to dig deeper into the topic, and address other key issues related to shell companies.