The proposed initiative aims to improve access to the labour market and social inclusion by supporting Member States in integrating the social economy into their socio-economic policies and creating support measures and a favourable environment for the sector.
The Mediterranean region is strongly exposed to climate change and faces fast-rising temperatures, water scarcity and coastal erosion. Energy transition plays an important role in climate change mitigation on both shores of the Mediterranean.
Europea Economic and Social Committee's opinion on Modern Business Responsibility – Avenues for Elevating MSMEs Ability for Successful Transformation (own-initiative opinion).
In this opinion, the EESC supports the Commission and the upcoming Belgian Presidency's commitment to safeguard digital inclusion for all. Member States should be encouraged to focus on equal access to digital education and training and digital tools, amongst which by ensuring access for learners and teachers with disabilities, eliminating urban-rural and other geographical divides and eliminating bias in algorithms. Action by social partners and CSOs aimed at improving digital skills, eliminating digital exclusion and closing the digital gap in society should be supported by improved access to EU and national funding. This opinion points at the need to provide teachers with a broader access to high-quality and relevant continuous professional development on digital skills and competences and to tackle teacher shortages.
Every year in February, the EESC adopts an opinion on Annual Sustainable Growth Survey, which the Commission usually presents at the end of November in the year before. The Committee works under tight deadlines, in anticipation of the referral, to finalise the opinion before the March Council discussion on the topic. To reinforce the Committee's impact throughout the entire European Semester, an own-initiative opinion with additional considerations is regularly produced by October taking into account the overall European Semester, which plays a central role in implementing the Recovery and Resilience Facility and is vital in current discussions about the review of the EU macro-economic governance framework.
The EESC welcomed the European Commission's proposal to modernise the EU legislative framework against corruption by incorporating international standards, including those in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). The EESC recommended that Member States adopt rules in a number of areas, including on incompatibility, lobbying, access to elected officials, recruitment of public officials and funding of political parties. Other ways to reinforce anti-corruption measures would be through an extension of the competences of the EU Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) and the creation of an independent corruption prevention authority at EU-level. The opinion also suggested to extend the legal basis of the Directive and introduce speedy procedures to administer justice for corruption-related crimes.