The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is currently drawing up an own initiative opinion on "Promoting innovative and high growth firms". In order to gain further insights the EESC is organising a public hearing on 7 July 2016 at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, with the objective to contribute to map Europe's challenges and opportunities in this area and to create an environment supportive of creating innovative and high growth firms. The hearing will help formulating recommendations for policy makers on measures and actions needed to address the situation.
The first European Microfinance Day "What if we could turn job seekers into job creators?", is organised on 19-20 October 2015 at the EESC's premises in Brussels in a n partnership of the EESC with the Microfinance Centre (MFC) and the European Microfinance Network (EMN). It aims to raise awareness of microfinance as a tool to fight social exclusion and unemployment in Europe. A multitude of workshops, debates, expositions, meetings, etc. will take place at local level all across the EU-28.
After the financial crisis, it became clear that the fragmented environment in the EU made it difficult to deal decisively and effectively with problems, particularly in the financial system. A common and cross-border approach became essential/were needed. The challenge was to make the financial institutions and markets more stable, competitive, safe and resilient. From that perspective, the plans for a fully-fledged banking union and a capital markets union were the right response.
"Achieving sustainable growth in a competitive world is challenging. The challenge is even greater for the European Union, as the Old Continent faces a severe competitiveness deficit. Without entering into a health review, that could be delivered at a further stage, of each of the 28 Member States, the ambition of this study is to draw-up a comprehensive picture of EU economic growth.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the EU economy. According to Commission estimates, the overall contribution of SMEs to EU-27 value added was more than 57% (EUR 3.4 trillion) in 2012. Although the role of SMEs in the EU economy is crucial and their well being should be a priority for European policymakers, they struggle with access to finance, especially in the countries severely hit by the crisis. The Greek experience can and should be taken as a case study and conclusions drawn on how to improve the system for the future.