Secção da União Económica e Monetária e Coesão Económica e Social (ECO) - Related Opinions
This additional opinion on the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2022 takes into account the ongoing Semester process and provides input for the next cycle. This is particularly important this year. Since Russia´s attack on Ukraine the geopolitical landscape has dramatically changed, and policy has been quickly adapted, as reflected in the Communications on RepowerEU and Our European Growth Model. The EESC also points to the outcome of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which envisages further political measures, including a convention to assess the need for Treaty changes. The Semester, which is itself undergoing a systemic change, has proved to be a credible framework for EU policy coordination during the pandemic. In the Spring Package, the implications of the war in Ukraine are again reflected comprehensively.
The Leipzig charter as a strategic part of Urban policy in Europe has recently been modified by the Ljubljana agreement that the Commission adopted on 26 November 2021. It signals the start of a new phase of the Urban Agenda for the EU.
In this context, the forthcoming Czech EU Presidency, asks the contribution of the EESC to explore how these changes could impact on the creation of new Thematic Partnerships. Amongst others the Czech presidency is putting forward the following questions:
What should be put into consideration while implementing the new theme of urban communities and the involvement of citizens?
What should be the thresholds to create a functioning mechanism for strengthening the position of citizens and groups of citizens to achieve the targeted cooperative partnerships.
EESC believes that there is a need to have a clear and structured view of which funds are targeted to tackle climate change and how they are managed. With an approved budget of over EUR 330 billion in the current programming period, cohesion policy is the largest and most important investment tool in Europe. As 30% of both the Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will need to be spent on projects for decarbonising our economy, cohesion policy has a crucial role in tackling climate change. Moreover, funds will also be made available under NGEU, as the green transition is one of the main targets of recovery and resilience after COVID-19.
This own-initiative opinion will offer an overview of how gender equality and economic empowerment has been built into the RRF Regulation and will focus on gender-oriented public investments and programmes foreseen in NRRPs on targeted recovery plans to support women’s participation in the labour market, while giving concrete recommendations to ensure gender-based investments.