Towards an appropriate European legal framework for social economy enterprises (own-initiative opinion)
The opinion examines the possible introduction of a new concept into EU law: "low-profit". This concept would define all organisations that are likely to make a profit but that do not intend to distribute it to their owners or shareholders, as they have a different purpose.
Making a reality of the European Pillar of Social Rights (the "Social Pillar") will require improvements in Member States and a robust budgetary base, investment and current spending.
More public investment within Member States can be facilitated by reference to a Golden Rule for public investment with a social objective, which would allow more flexibility in budget rules with a view to achieving the aims of the European Pillar of Social Rights. More public investment can also be supported by the use of existing EU instruments, especially the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs), and by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). This support should explicitly include objectives linked to the Social Pillar.
Appropriate taxation policies, including effective fight against tax fraud, tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning, should allow Member States and the EU to raise additional means to contribute to the financing of the Social Pillar.
The Social Progress Protocol, proposed during the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE), gives precedence to social, workers' and trade union rights when they are in conflict with economic freedoms. However, while everyone agreed that social rights and economic freedoms can co-exist, support for making the protocol primary EU law is far from unanimous, with diverging views among the social partners and in the academic community, an EESC hearing confirmed
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls on the EU and Member States to implement more concrete measures to support the health, housing and financial needs of the growing number people taking on long-term caregiving responsibilities of a family member.
The transition towards a low-carbon economy is a fundamental priority. But the green transition will fail without social dialogue. This represented a general agreement among the discussions during the meeting, particularly if climate policies were not made also socially sustainable and did not take into account the needs and worries of working people, of citizens. Key points raised during the debates included the fact that real wages were decreasing with the soaring inflation, the complementarity of fighting climate change and protecting social rights, and the fundamental role of involving Trade Unions in the design and implementation of policies within the Green Deal.
Academia, local civil society organisations, representatives of regional and national authorities and members of the European Economic and Social Committee met at a conference in Dolni Vítkovice, a former industrial area for coal mining and steel production in Ostrava, on 11 October 2022. The conference on Reinventing the Moravian-Silesian Region in search of a socially just transition was organised by the EESC's Civil Society Organisations' Group as part of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Lifelong learning will ensure jobs and decent living standards. However, in the absence of a standardised system across the EU, not all workers have opportunities to reskill and upskill during their careers, an EESC study finds
Social dialogue is an important tool for ensuring health and safety at work. However, in the face of changes brought to the world of work by the digital and green transition and the health crisis, social dialogue will have to be strengthened across Europe. It should be complemented by more robust rules on musculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial risks leading to major work-related illnesses such as heart conditions, stroke, cancer and depression