Prime Minister Jüri Ratas will be travelling to Brussels today in order to participate in the Tripartite social summit, in which the heads of European Union institutions and European employers and employee representatives will be discussing how to shape the future of Europe by strengthening resilience and promoting economic and social progress for all.
Discussions will be focused on three areas: the social dimension of Europe, progress achieved and ways to improve involvement of social partners in policies and reforms at national level, investing in learning in a digital economy and society.
A summary of the Committee’s consideration of the draft opinion is now available.
The European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) launched a joint platform today to help high-speed broadband reach all European regions, including rural and sparsely populated areas where there is not enough market-driven development. The first meeting of the Broadband Platform took place in Brussels in the presence of the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, CoR President Karl-Heinz Lambertz and local and regional politicians from EU member states.
The EU will sponsor free wireless internet access points in town halls, libraries, parks and other public places under a new scheme called WiFi4EU, which was adopted by the Council today. An easily recognisable multilingual WiFi4EU portal will provide access to a secure high-speed connection in at least 6 000 local communities across the EU by 2020. An informal agreement on the scheme was reached with the European Parliament in May this year.
Challenges of future work will be best tackled through strong social policies and education, says EESC.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is supporting the expansion of the Swedish fibre network in cities and rural areas with EUR 125 million in debt financing over the next four years. The transaction with IP-Only, the country’s biggest independent network provider, was made possible by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). EFSI is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, set up by the EIB Group and the European Commission to boost the competitiveness of the European economy.
The European Parliament gave the green light this afternoon to waste 120 million euros of taxpayers’ money to provide up to 8,000 “free” Wi-Fi stations across the EU. Flemish MEP Anneleen Van Bossuyt, chair of the parliament’s internal market committee and who followed the proposals for the ECR Group, has continually opposed the new scheme that amounts to nothing more than a vanity project from the European Commission that will cost taxpayers millions.