Recent initiatives on regulating AI systems and digital services represent a significant turning point and mark a growing recognition that the negative impacts of digitalisation need to be urgently addressed. However, there are still many legislative loopholes and gaps that need to be bridged to secure a safe online space that will respect and protect human dignity and not merely serve as the profit-making arena for Big Tech
Key stakeholders of Europe's tourism sector speaking in a debate at the EESC February plenary expressed support for the measures called for by a new EESC report to revive and future-proof the industry.
The conference on Strategic foresight: a vision for the future of Europe, held by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in the framework of its External Relations Section (REX) meeting, highlighted the emerging importance of identifying different possible futures, and explored pathways to tackle challenges and seize opportunities. The participants called for attention to civil society interests and concerns, underlining that these should be reflected in the Strategic Foresight Reports drafted by the Commission.
At the request of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU, in the opinion on Food security and sustainable food systems adopted at its plenary session on 19 January 2022, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) identified the key levers for sustainable and competitive EU food production and for reducing dependence on imports while increasing the EU's protein autonomy.
This webinar, hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), highlighted the views of civil society organisations on the future of European industry, pointing out that sources of clean energy were essential to a successful transition to a carbon-neutral economy.
Social dialogue is an important tool for ensuring health and safety at work. However, in the face of changes brought to the world of work by the digital and green transition and the health crisis, social dialogue will have to be strengthened across Europe. It should be complemented by more robust rules on musculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial risks leading to major work-related illnesses such as heart conditions, stroke, cancer and depression
In an exploratory opinion requested by the French presidency to the Council of the EU and adopted in January 2021, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls on the European Commission (EC) to consider the substantial benefits that the outermost regions (ORs) can bring to the future of Europe. The EC should also take appropriate measures to ensure that the ORs don't miss the post-COVID recovery, and don't fall behind in terms of the climate, social and digital transitions.
Welcomed as a much-needed addition to the European response to health emergencies, the Commission's proposal on HERA, the EU's new authority for countering cross-border health threats, still has much room for improvement. Critics object to its lack of ambition, limited transparency and insufficient independence, which some fear may lead to it caving in to the pharmaceutical industry instead of serving the public interest
New financial instruments are needed if the social economy is to keep growing beyond the stimulus provided by public programmes, says a newly-adopted report by the EESC, which also calls for financial training as a way to foster private funding.
The EESC firmly believes that a care model for dependent older people with long-term care needs should be mainstreamed into EU policymaking, given that the proportion of the population aged over 80 is expected to more than double by 2050. The pandemic revealed failures and shortcomings in this area, which must be addressed fast. The Commission's initiative to establish a new European Care Strategy is a step in this direction, but consultative institutions and European civil society organisations representing older people have to have a say.