In a letter sent by Minister for European Affairs Mikuláš Bek to the Committee President in January 2022, the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union asked the EESC to draw up eight exploratory opinions on subjects reflecting its political priorities. These exploratory opinions will enable the EESC to contribute to the big debates of the Czech Presidency.
The exploratory opinion will look into EU competitiveness and the regulatory impacts of Union legislation on EU's businesses. The EU must decrease its strategic dependency and ensure its higher resilience, as well as openness to the outside world and competitiveness of its businesses. According to the Czech Presidency priorities, the Single Market serves as the EU's greatest asset in order to fulfil these targets.
Nuclear power seems to have a role to play in the EU on the path to decarbonisation. That is why the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union asked the EESC to draw up an opinion which focusses on the following question: to what extent could nuclear power contribute to the stability of supply and energy prices in the EU, taking into account its overall costs and the need to ensure a high level of security and public health?
The Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union asked the EESC to prepare an opinion on how different Member States involve the partners within their national climate ambitions, and what role the EESC plays in explaining the realities of the twin transitions?
Gender equality (SOC/731)
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing gender inequalities, including inequalities in the labour market. In light of this, the EESC received a request from the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union to prepare an opinion on what are the most efficient tools to achieve work-life balance among the Member States, and what are the best ways to support gender equality, including the economic empowerment of young people, in the post-pandemic recovery?
Tackling energy poverty and the EU's resilience: challenges from an economic and social perspective (SOC/717)
The EESC was asked to prepare an opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of selected tools for addressing energy poverty at the EU level. This should provide the Czech Presidency with input into a wider debate launched by the Commission's Communication of 13 October 2021 on Tackling rising energy prices: a toolbox for action and support.
The single market is a cherished achievement of European integration. Yet, while paying notional respect to its integrity and progress, the past years have witnessed only very limited effort to deepen it. The EESC received a request from the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU for an exploratory opinion on what are the real macro-economic effects of the single market on the EU and the Member States? What are the benefits of further deepening and what are the areas the EU should focus on? What are the most common barriers to the single market and how to tackle them?
Digital rights and principles (INT/988)
The Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union asked the EESC to draw up an opinion on what approaches towards digital taxation are common in Europe and what are their fiscal effects? What would be the ideal fairest way to tax tech companies at European level, while not restricting access to the market and inhibiting growth of start-ups/scale-ups and the market as a whole?
Digital taxation (ECO/587)
In the context of the European Commission's public consultation, which showed broad support for the suggested digital principles, the EESC should prepare for the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union an exploratory opinion which analyses the actual needs and missing digital rights among Europeans.
In the context of the recently adopted Ljubljana Agreement, which provides concrete steps to renew the Urban Agenda for the EU with a common goal to make it more impactful and efficient, the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU asked the EESC to prepare an exploratory opinion on what should be put into consideration while implementing the new theme of urban communities with the involvement of citizens. What are the thresholds to create a functioning mechanism for strengthening the position of citizens and groups of citizens to achieve the targeted cooperative partnerships?