With recent surveys showing that 66% of Europeans would like the EU to have more say over health-related matters, and more than a half in favour of public health becoming the EU's top priority in terms of expenditure, the EU should start playing a more active role in protecting the health of its citizens. The EESC thinks that the Commission's recent package on an EU Health Union is a step in the right direction.
Highlights of the European Economic and Social Committee's 27-28 April plenary: 27 April, 5.30 pm - Conference on the Future of Europe • 28 April, 10.00 am - Adina Vălean, European commissioner for transport, on an EU strategy for sustainable and smart mobility • 28 April, 11.00 am - Nicolas Schmit, European commissioner for jobs and social rights, on the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, ahead of the Porto Social Summit next month and the planned EU Action Plan for Social Economy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a slowdown in the activity of many economic sectors and, at the same time, is giving rise to a significant shift in the global balance of power. In this context, the EU is looking for an appropriate strategy to strengthen its role as a global economic player, with policies aimed at boosting the international role of the euro, strengthening the resilience of EU financial market infrastructures and improving the implementation of sanctions imposed on third countries.
Europe and the world have to prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change. COVID-19 has made things more difficult, but it has also created an unprecedented opportunity: to use the EU recovery funds to revitalise the economy and at the same time ensure that the EU becomes climate-resilient and fully adapted, while achieving climate-neutrality.
Digitalisation is key to letting EU citizens contribute their knowledge and expertise to services of general interest, but this process must be inclusive, reveals online seminar co‑organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).
Hailed as ambitious and holistic, Europe's new plan for beating cancer has met with applause from cancer organisations and civil society. Now, as the pandemic is taking a heavy toll on cancer detection and care, the plan needs to be urgently and properly implemented. So much is at stake – without decisive action, Europe may face a cancer tsunami, with the disease projected to become the leading cause of mortality in just under 15 years.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted on 12 April the 7th meeting of the EU-Korea Civil Society Forum, an online event that gathered civil society representatives to discuss on labour-related issues, including working hours, civil dialogue and the state of play of the implementation of international standards and conventions (ILO). Participants also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
At its March plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion drawn up by the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI) which proposes more precise and operational governance arrangements and instruments for the implementation of the new battery regulation, with involvement of all stakeholders, as this could contribute to developing a Union framework covering the entire battery life cycle in the EU.
Faced with many barriers and less able to maintain social and physical distance, persons with disabilities are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 and falling severely ill as a result of the disease. However, in the EU they have not been explicitly included in priority groups for vaccination
COVID-19 has blatantly exposed all the cracks and fissures in the European health systems and shown the EU to be unprepared for dealing with major health emergencies. But the first building blocks of the future European Health Union, recently proposed by the Commission, look promising and may give the EU the right weapons to fight pandemics in the future