Emergency measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 have taken a heavy toll on Europe’s civil society. Although mostly justifiable and necessary to save lives, these measures should never offer a carte blanche to governments to turn what was initially an urgent response into the permanent demise of the rule of law. So finds a recent EESC hearing.
On one of the most important weeks of the year for climate action, with the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, the European Council on Climate, and the launching on 16 December of the Climate Pact by the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls upon ownership and empowerment of civil society as a precondition to success.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) urges the European Commission to start a new discussion to make sure the green objectives and improved performance of the air traffic management system are covered in the new legislation. The consequences of the COVID‑19 crisis for aviation should also be addressed.
The European Economic and Social Committee advocates a set of common principles for public services to help ensure full compliance of all Member States with democratic norms and the rule of law.
The new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum was strongly criticised during a high-level conference held by the European Economic and Social Committee. Representatives of civil society, think tanks and the European Parliament found that the new pact does not deliver the changes needed to create a proper common European migration and asylum system.
At the webinar organised by the Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society (TEN), EESC members point out that the contribution of civil society will be fundamental for the future of the EU's hydrogen strategy.
The new president of the EESC's Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society (TEN), Baiba Miltoviča, met European Commission executive vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis and set out the section's 2020-2023 work programme, in which green is a priority.
Holistic strategies and harmonisation of action plans for integration could be the way to go, EESC members explain. EU Member States deal with integration policies in widely different ways, based on their specific circumstances and migration histories. Yet the specific needs of women and children striving to overcome discrimination or obstacles to their integration are not always fully taken into consideration. However, the EESC put forward ways to address these shortcomings in an opinion presented at the October plenary session.
Estimates show that almost half of European adults have low or outdated skills, which makes the need for them to upskill and reskill ever more relevant
In an annual conference held entirely online on 3-4 November, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) voiced its determination to help make the Circular Economy Platform a real hub of the collective effort to build a circular economy in Europe.