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On 26 September, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) approved an own-initiative opinion to mark the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). In this opinion, the EESC acknowledges the important achievements of this initiative, but also calls for further reforms in the areas of democratisation and fundamental freedoms. The opinion insists on the need to strengthen the role of civil society and to provide credible EU membership prospects to EaP states.


According to the EESC, the European manufacturing system can only make an effective and competitive transition to a cutting-edge digital and environmentally friendly economy when it is ready for significant investments in innovation. As the main job creators and providers, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) need particular support. The steps planned by the European Commission to facilitate better development of the manufacturing system should therefore be consistently based on real awareness of companies' – especially SMEs' – needs.  


Comitetul Economic și Social European (CESE) invită Comisia să reflecteze mai în profunzime asupra opțiunilor de politică menite să contribuie atât la reducerea emisiilor de gaze cu efect de seră, și deci la combaterea schimbărilor climatice, cât și la menținerea competitivității. Obiectivul trebuie să constea într-o mai bună protejare și promovare a industriilor mari consumatoare de resurse și de energie din UE; în caz contrar, Europa riscă să piardă locuri de muncă în favoarea unor economii mai puțin ecologice și să nu își atingă ținta de reducere a emisiilor de gaze cu efect de seră (GES).


Originally associated with cryptocurrencies, blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) are in fact very versatile and can be usefully applied to the social economy. However, it is important to regulate them properly and gear them to benefits for all, allowing everyone to participate, says the EESC in a report tabled at its July plenary.


Farming can only be continued if our natural resources are preserved, warns EESC

The EU needs to put greater emphasis on short supply chains and agroecology in farming in order to preserve its agriculture and make it more resilient to new challenges, such as climate change. Agroecology is also a way to secure our food supply, make our food healthier and as such raise its value. Short supply chains will help smaller farms to increase their income and enliven rural areas.