On 5 December 2015, the Workers' Group of the EESC organised a conference in Paris on the margins of COP21 during which a study was presented on "Combating climate change: putting a price on carbon on the basis of economic and social criteria". This study was carried out by Syndex experts at the request of the Workers' Group.
The document on a new agenda on EU migration published by the Commission should be considered as one of the most important documents of recent EU history regarding the establishment of a minimum common migration policy, for economic as well as for international protection reasons.
The Workers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee organised a High Level Seminar on "How fit is EU legislation for the digital age?"
The EESC's opinion criticises the Commission's proposal for lacking a social dimension, since evolving business services and models will lead to profound changes in the labour market. The EESC believes that there will be many potential risks and challenges, particularly in the field of security, work organisation and social security, and that the social dimension, with all its implications for employment, should form the fourth pillar of the European Digital Single Market Strategy.
We are pleased to announce that Ricardo Serra Arias has joined the Employers' Group. Mr Serra Arias is the president of the Spanish farmers association ASAJA-Sevilla and ASAJA-Andalucía. He is also a vice-president of COPA-COGECA EU and a vice-president of ASAJA Nacional, with responsibility for international relations.
On Monday 14 December, the European Economic and Social Committee, partnering with the United Nations, hosted a screening of the film "El desorden de los sentidos" (Disorder of the senses), featuring two young cyclists from Spain with disabilities, Gerardo and Antonio (represented by his father Javier Luque). The special screening was opened by George Dassis, President of the EESC.
The signing of the first ever global climate change agreement is a historic moment. It represents an important milestone in the transition towards a low-carbon economy.
This agreement would not have been possible without the unprecedented mobilisation of civil society, towns, cities and territories, a mobilisation in which the EESC participated extensively.
Whilst the agreement only partially meets our expectations, it includes a number of significant steps forward in terms of ambitions, revision mechanisms and funding.
This is a historic moment and so too are our responsibilities. Now is the moment that the future will be determined, by implementing the agreement, honouring the commitments made and transitioning towards fairer economies.
A compulsory Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) for all companies – both transnational and at a later stage also national –, taxing profits where they are generated, and sanctions for companies operating in tax havens: these are among the measures advocated by the European Economic and Social Committee to stop aggressive tax planning in the EU. Aggressive tax planning schemes, which exploit the wide discrepancies between EU Member States' taxation systems, allow big transnational companies to avoid paying their fair share to the Member States in which they operate and cost Member States' treasuries hundreds of billions of euros in losses every year.
At its plenary session of 9 and 10 December 2015 (meeting of 10 December), the European Economic and Social Committee adopted this resolution by 174 to 8 with 9 abstentions.