EESC calls for appropriate indicators to measure progress at EU and Member States level. In its own-initiative opinion Indicators better suited to evaluate the SDGs – the civil society contribution, the EESC reiterates its call on the Commission to establish an overarching European Sustainable Development Strategy with concrete objectives, targets and actions to achieve the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the EU. To properly measure progress on SDG implementation, quantitative indicators should be accompanied by qualitative ones, and should be developed with the involvement of civil society.
EESC also pushing to extend protection to all operators. Unfair trading practices (UTPs) result in negative economic, social and environmental effects. The food supply chain is particularly vulnerable to UTPs, due to severe imbalances of power between small and large operators. The European Commission has recognised this problem, and the EESC appreciates the Commission’s proposal for a directive on unfair trade practices in the food supply chain as a necessary first step; however, it regrets that it does not go far enough.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), together with ECOLISE, the European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability, and the Committee of the Regions (CoR), held the conference on “Civil Society and Municipalities: building sustainability through collaboration” on 20 September. It took place as part of the 2nd European Day of Sustainable Communities.
European business and consumer representatives united in a lukewarm welcome of the Commission’s proposed New Deal for Consumers at the European Economic and Social Committee’s plenary session on 20 September. Taking a position on the package, the Committee wondered whether the New Deal does in fact live up to its promise of making consumer legislation in Europe fit for the digital age. Focusing on the actual enforcement of existing consumer protection rules should have been a priority, in the EESC’s view.
It needs different and holistic approaches to address gender inequality, says the EESC
The digital gender gap is a consequence of discrimination against women, which already starts in early childhood, the EESC points out. In its exploratory opinion on the digital gender gap, drafted at the European Parliament’s request, the EESC suggests a multi-level approach and calls for holistic policies addressing different sources of inequality.
The negotiations for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the European elections come as the European Union finds itself at a crossroads. From growing Euroscepticism to challenges of migration, it faces a wide range of pressing political and socio-economic challenges; some of them are even calling the EU itself into question.
The new regulation on the digital single market proposed by the European Commission will not only protect e-commerce consumers, but – for the first time ever – SMEs too. Business operating on online platforms and search engines will be able to resolve possible conflicts out of court. This is the progress highlighted by the opinion drafted by Marco Vezzani and adopted by the EESC plenary session on 19 September 2018.
Social media platforms should become more responsible and stick to strict rules. The Committee agrees with the European Commission that this would represent a great leap forward in tackling disinformation. However, the Commission proposal lacks practical steps to achieve these objectives. In the opinion put together by Martin Siecker and adopted at the EESC plenary session on 19 September 2018, the EESC urges the Commission to approve compulsory measures and stresses that many issues remain pending.
stronger budget, more synergies between networks, continued technical support, reaffirmed commitment to investment in electricity projects, and dual‑use of civilian‑military infrastructure. In the opinion put together by Aurel Laurențiu Plosceanu and Graham Watson, which was approved at the EESC plenary on 19 September 2018, the EESC broadly supports the new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) regulation for the period 2021-2027 and tells the Commission where there is room for improvement.
The European Commission’s action plan, aimed at improving the poor and uneven implementation of EU environmental law and governance across the EU, shows a serious lack of ambition and resources as it proposes measures that are too weak to adequately and uniformly sanction non-compliance by Member States, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has said in a recent opinion.