We have a special guest today among the journalists who have accepted our invitation to be present in the last plenary session of 2019. His name is Andrew Caruana Galizia, son of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese journalist who was assassinated on 16 October 2017 because she was investigating and exposing cases of corruption at the highest levels of government.
On 12 December, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) awarded prizes to five civil society organisations who stand up for equal opportunities for women and men, raise awareness about women's potential and achievements, and contribute to their empowerment in Europe's society and economy.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted a debate on development cooperation policy at its December plenary session, stressing that it was essential to upgrade relations between EU and African civil society in order to move from help to development to partnership.
The son of the Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed in 2017 while reporting on government corruption, addressed the December plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and said that a European rule of law monitoring mechanism could help defend journalism against all forms of pressure.
Today, I can only praise the new #VDLcommission for delivering even before the end of its first 100 days what it has promised just a few months ago: the Green Deal. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the House of the European civil society, has sought for the past years to achieve a fully-fledged sustainable development in line with the UN 2030 Agenda.
Wednesday 11 December: debates on opinions on disability rights, unemployment insurance, human rights and business, populism and fundamental rights, taxation and the sustainable development goals, use-value of European products and services. – Thursday, 12 December: Debate on the theme From development to partnership and 2019 Civil Society Prize awards ceremony at 11 a.m.
When I look at the proposals brought forward initially by the Commission, and now, last week, by the Finnish presidency on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), I can only be disappointed and genuinely concerned. Disappointed because already the Commission proposal of May 2018 remained too prudent.
The EESC President
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Evropski ekonomsko-socialni odbor (EESO) je razpisal nagrado za civilno družbo za leto 2019. Letošnja tema je Več žensk v evropski družbi in gospodarstvu, nagraditi pa želi inovativne pobude in projekte, katerih cilj je boj za enake možnosti za ženske in moške ter njihova enaka obravnava na vseh področjih gospodarskega in družbenega življenja.
Taxation policies are fundamental for the SDGs as they determine the economic environment in which investment, employment, and innovation take place while providing the government with revenues for financing public spending. Businesses are global drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth, job creation, investment and innovation. Private sector expertise holds the keys to unlocking many of the challenges linked to sustainable development. Tax bases should be as broad as possible allowing tax rates to be as non-distortive as possible.
This own-initiative opinion refers to what a comprehensive approach to industrial policy should include, in order to reposition European production of goods and services in the global context, on the basis of an eco-social open market model that responds to the tradition and the future of the EU.
When it comes to development and EU-Africa relations, the EESC consistently emphasised the importance of sustainable development and cooperation based on the rule of law and the respect for human rights. Initiatives focused on trade, investment and business relations with Africa could be welcomed, but not to the detriment of traditional development policies focusing on reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A system of corporate liability for human rights abuses is currently being negotiated in the UN, within the UNHRC’s open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises concerning human rights (OEIGWG), established by the UN General Assembly on 26 June 2014. The mandate of the working group is to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.
The opinion presents the EESC's proposal for the new European Disability strategy 2020-2030, at a crucial moment in the EU landscape. With a new European Commission, a new European Parliament and a new budget programming period, the timing is perfect to come up with a Disability Strategy that fully takes into account the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCPRD), the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Against a background of rising poverty levels during the crisis, levels that remain high in many Member States, in particular among the unemployed, this own-initiative opinion would address the huge differences in levels of protection under national unemployment insurance systems within the EU.
Possible standards in this respect could be: