The EESC welcomes the European Commission's decision to prolong the State aid Temporary Framework stemming from the pandemic. However, these measures are too exceptional for them to be extended to the general framework and therefore become permanent.
The EESC highly appreciates the first activation of the Temporary Protection Directive 2001/55/EC in the context of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The current activation of the Directive could well be used to develop solidarity mechanisms among the Member States. It strongly supports an urgent need for effective, genuine, humane – and humanitarian – common European regulations on migration, asylum and security cooperation in an open, but equally secure Schengen area, in full accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The consequences of the war are also a threat for the European model of the social market economy as well as for the freedom and rights of EU citizens and other inhabitants. The EESC encourages preserving and valuing the Schengen area as it is currently constituted, to guarantee not only the free movement of human beings, but also the functioning of the Single Market.
The EESC considers that engaging in dialogue with civil society and social partners constitutes an effective way for policy-makers to understand the varying needs of people belonging to different social groups. There can be no room for repression of social dialogue and civil society dialogue in the EU. Consultation processes should also be easy to find and to access. The EESC points at the potential for civil society to assist policy-makers in essential tasks such as monitoring, but that this should be accompanied with funding and technical support to enable CSOs to build capacity.
The EESC welcomes the European Commission's proposal for a Directive on improving working conditions in platform work. The EESC underlined that the platform economy opens up opportunities for both businesses and workers but also raises concerns, which need to be addressed at European and national level and through collective bargaining. The EESC deems it necessary to ensure equal treatment between "traditional" companies and those using digital means based on the functions of algorithmic management, when used to manage work organisation and employment relations: direction, control and/or organisational power. The EESC supports the aim of the European Commission's legislative proposal to address the very diverse regulations in the Member States on the legal classification of the employment relationship.