This document provides a summary of the discussion entitled "Bridging the skills gap for growth and job creation", which was held in Sofia (Bulgaria) on 22 March 2018. The conference was organised by the Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee together with the Association of the Organizations of the Bulgarian Employers. The seminar was included in the calendar of meetings of the Bulgarian Presidency to the Council of the EU.
This document is the political declaration of the Employers' Group before the European elections. The declaration calls for an open economy – with open markets and fair competition. An open economy must be accompanied by an open society that relies on dialogue and good governance. Europe needs enabling and encouraging policies that stimulate creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. The Group issued the declaration to be vocal about employers' support for the EU.
Transition to a circular economy is a must if we are to protect our planet, but also if we are to increase the competitiveness of European industry. This is a long-term process that will require numerous initiatives at European, national and regional level. Companies see the circular economy as an opportunity. "Going green" is beneficial not only for the environment, but also for businesses, providing real savings in terms of raw materials, water and energy.
The EESC "Smart Islands" project is based on the own-initiative of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on Smart islands TEN/558.
The "Smart Cities" project is a follow-up to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) own-initiative opinion on smart cities as a driver of a new European industrial policy, adopted in July 2015.
To enable businesses to perform this role, the EU must provide conditions that make European businesses more competitive, encourage entrepreneurship and ensure favourable conditions for them to innovate, invest, operate and trade. This calls for a business environment that helps prepare for the future, is based on open markets and fair competition and provides enabling and supportive conditions for doing business