This opinion will look into the possibilities to engage with young people in a formal way at institutional level and provide the building blocks for a new structured approach to youth engagement at EU level.
Reflection Paper 'Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030' - Related Opinions
This opinion deals with three of four megatrends at the heart of the new Commission priorities: climate change, biodiversity loss and globalisation. While the European Green Deal will result in higher environmental standards with, for instance, stricter climate change targets, it is important that all Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are not undermining these improvements by contributing to deforestation or biodiversity loss in other countries. As one of the world's largest importer of energy, agricultural goods and raw materials, the EU has contributed to deforestation and biodiversity loss in other countries.
The opinion will provide guidance on how to build on existing structures like citizens' dialogues and assemblies, social dialogue committees in order to structure and mainstream the dialogue with civil society. It will also make recommendations about how to encourage information sharing and public understanding of climate action; how to create real and virtual spaces for exchange on climate and how to build capacity to facilitate grassroots initiatives, among others.
This EESC opinion will respond to the European Commission's proposal for a regulation on establishing a European Climate Law and it will look into the role of citizens in driving the transformation towards climate neutrality.
The partial paradigm shift inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has already impacted economies, businesses and consumers. The time has come to scale up, using the common sustainable practices already being implemented as a basis for taking these sustainable practices to the next level.
The purpose of this opinion is twofold:
1. To make an inventory of all the concrete proposals made by EESC members during the current term of office concerning any form of coordination between the rule books of the UNCCC for climate change, the WTO for trade in goods, services and investments and subsidies, and the ILO for the main conventions, and in particular, decent work agenda;
2. To organise hearings in Brussels and Geneva of key people and consultations through an on‑line platform in order to articulate a set of practical proposals designed to bring about greater integration of economic, environmental and social rules.
Europe is embarking on a transition towards climate neutrality and digital leadership. European industry can lead the way as we enter this new age, as it has done in the past.
Three drivers will transform our industry, support our small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and keep Europe sustainable and competitive.
The EESC welcomes the approach taken by the annual growth strategy for 2020, based on the four key pillars that are the environment, productivity, stability and fairness and also welcomes the inclusion of the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It also welcomes the fact that social rights are highlighted in the 2020 growth strategy and hopes that special attention will be given to the gender issue. Long term investment in education, training and skills development and to boost research and innovation, with increased funds earmarked for them, is absolutely crucial and decisive for the EU competitiveness. The greatest priority of all is to restore sustainable growth, above all in the weakest countries and regions. Finally, the EESC agrees on the need to strengthen the stability and resilience of the financial system and tighten the rules governing the financial markets.
The EESC is currently drafting an opinion that aims to define what "the sustainable economy we need" should look like by exploring new economic models, investment decisions vis-à-vis technological advances as well as novel indicators for growth and competitiveness.