The Commission is proposing an ambitious revision of the EU pharmaceutical legislation (including a Directive and a Regulation), in order to, inter alia, create a Single Market for medicines, ensure an innovation-friendly framework for research and production and reduce the administrative burden.
The Report on Competition policy, published annually, provides detailed information on the most important policy and legislative initiatives, and on decisions adopted by the European Commission in application of EU competition law during the previous year.
EESC opinion NAT/908 - Plants produced by new genomic techniques.
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.
The EESC calls for an action plan to properly implement the European Skills Agenda and its twelve proposed actions. Significant political efforts and systemic reforms in education and training and smart investments in human capital are needed to tackle skills-related challenges. Social partners, education providers and civil society organisations should work more together to design skills strategies that best respond to the needs of the labour market and society in general. The EESC points at the importance of improving EU and Member State initiatives regarding employee training in the workplace and creating the right incentives for employers to continue investing in the training of their workforce, with the involvement of social partners.
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.