In the face of unprecedented global changes (biodiversity collapse, widespread pollution, climate change, etc.), most notably causing extreme weather events, the effects of climate change are having a direct and indirect impact on a range of human rights that are guaranteed at international and European level, such as the right to life and health, the right of access to food and drinking water, the right to property and housing, and the right to religion and culture.
Information reports with Workers' Group members as rapporteur/co-rapporteur/rapporteur-general
The Covid-19 pandemic is strongly affecting the Euro-Mediterranean region, creating new challenges and exacerbating pre-existing ones. The pandemic has highlighted fundamental weaknesses in institutions, economies and health systems. Civil society plays a key role in the reconstruction and resilience of the whole region.
The directive on services in the Internal Market was designed to promote competitiveness, growth and employment in line with the Lisbon Strategy. It has, at the same time, triggered an intensive debate on the form to be taken by the freedom to provide services. The effects of the Directive on national labour markets, social conditions and consumer protection requirements remain a highly controversial issue.
The Commission is undertaking a series of evaluations of the Common Agricultural Policy for the timeframe 2014-2020, assessing performance against the CAP's general objectives. Since the evaluation targets CAP socioeconomic impacts, representing a wide-ranging scope, the EESC provided a complementary evaluation focusing on five countries whose selection has been made together with the Commission in order to maximise complementarity and added value to the EC evaluation.
The evaluation will take a broader perspective than the young farmers’ payments under the first pillar of the CAP and the measures for young farmers under Pillar II of the CAP.
The EESC regularly produces information reports to be presented at the yearly Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar institutions. In 2018, based on feedback from the previous summit, the Euromed Follow-Up Committee decided to focus on the topic of education and vocational training (VET) in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
In its evaluation of the implementation of EU directives on legal migration from the perspective of organised civil society in selected Member States, the EESC considers the impact of these directives to be generally positive, albeit partial and fragmented. It also notes the impact of irregular migration on the directives' applicability.
The EESC provides a series of recommendations, covering the design of wider legal channels for labour migration; the role of the social partners and other organisations in this field; a simplified implementation of the directives and the modification of some of them; fact-based discourse to better inform the general public, integration and the fight against discrimination.
The EESC has been asked by the European Commission to contribute to the EC's mid-term evaluation of the Erasmus+ programme. In this context, two questionnaires were widely disseminated by the EESC in the member states and four fact-finding missions have been organised. The EESC also held an expert hearing to collect the views of specialised civil society organisations. An information report has been drafted containing the results of this exercise, accompanied by a detailed technical appendix containing important data on the awareness and perception of the programme. The aim of this evaluation was to provide information to the EC on the experience of civil society organisations with the enlarged and improved programme.
The EESC welcomes the CEF's support for clean, low-carbon transport and sustainable energy structures, as well as the attention given to energy vulnerability. However, the Committee would like to see more financial resources allocated to the CEF.
It will be possible to meet the expectations of city "users" – inhabitants, businesses, visitors and administrators – thanks to digital service ecosystems overlaying high-quality material and immaterial enabling infrastructure. Establishing this infrastructure will also have a significant impact in terms of growth, employment and productivity.