Europe is lagging behind other global players in terms of research and development (R&D). The business sector in Europe believes that if the EU is to become more competitive globally, more focus needs to be put on innovation. Greater clarity is needed in setting priorities. The most serious problem is that despite funds being allocated to basic research, the results of the research process do not make it to the market. Research and new technologies exist, but there are obstacles preventing them from being brought to customers.
European industry is a crucial part of the EU economy. Manufacturing still accounts for 80% of EU exports and ¼ of its employment. The goal of increasing manufacturing industry's share of EU GDP to 20% is still some way off. It currently sits at 15.1%. In order to increase this share, European industrial policy must be the focus of EU policy makers. The publication summarises a discussion entitled "Reinforcing European industrial competitiveness" organised by the EESC Employers' Group in November 2014 in Rome, Italy.
The EU is highly dependent on energy resources. More than a half of EU energy consumption is linked to imports. Increasing instability in the Middle East together with the deterioration of EU-Russia relations mean that energy security will remain at the top of the EU's agenda in the coming years. How can we achieve a true energy union? How can interconnectivity be increased between Member States? What should the ideal energy mix look like and how can energy efficiency be increased within the EU? The publication summarises the debate that seeks answers to these questions.
Inaugural speech by President Luca JAHIER at the international conference: 'Towards a more effective Europe 2020: civil society's proposals for boosting social inclusion and competitiveness in Europe', held in Rome on 4 & 5 December 2014.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is the biggest and most ambitious free trade agreement currently being negotiated by the European Union. Economists believe that an agreement with the USA will be advantageous for both the European Union and the USA, and the negative effects of trade liberalisation will be insignificant. This publication is a summary of the debate on "What development opportunities does the TTIP bring to Europe?" that was held in Sopot on 2 October 2014 as part of the European Forum for New Ideas.
In this issue:
- Overview of the Extraordinary Group III meeting in Finland
- Empowering Women through International Trade
- Reflections on the EESC media seminar in Malaga
- Upcoming events in November: New Role Models for Societies in Europe & Day of the Liberal Professions
Topics: EU-Japan FTA: state of play; Better access to the EU market motivates economic reforms in Eastern Partnership countries;
What Future for the EU's relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of countries post 2020?; Factors for Growth in the EU
The "Smart Islands" project is the continuation of the European Economic and Social Committee's (EESC) own-initiative opinion on Smart Islands.
The project aims to engage and exchange with local stakeholders on innovative projects developed locally, which create sustainable growth and, at the same time, job opportunities and competiveness, whilst respecting the environment and cultural heritage".
As outcome of the project, a catalogue of good practices was published in 2017.