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CES/03/41

Brussels, 16 June 2003

    Plenary Session June 2003

Members to debate imminent submission of a draft constitutional treaty by European Convention

18 June at 15h

Vice-president of the European Convention Jean-Luc Dehaene attends to listen to Committee's views of Convention text

KEY OPINIONS:

Role of micro and small enterprises in the Europe's economic life and productive fabric (own-initiative): Essential to give the European Charter for Small Enterprises legal status.

European space policy: Does the EU have the political will and the economic clout to maintain its autonomy and remain among the elite of the world of space?

European health insurance card: a significant contribution to free movement within the EU via the "simplifying of procedures without any changes to rights and obligations".

Quality of bathing water: support for a new directive that takes account of scientific and technical progress.

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Role of micro and small enterprises in the Europe's economic life and productive fabric (own-initiative)

(Rapporteur: Mr Antonello Pezzini, Group I, Employers, Italy)

The EESC highlights the positive elements of the European Charter for small businesses and calls for it to be given legal status. It also underlines the importance micro and small enterprises have in the creation of jobs and EU growth.

European Space Policy

(Rapporteur: Mr Stéphane Buffetot, Group I, Employers, France)

The EESC considers that Europe's position in the space sector will depend on the strength of its political commitment and the clarity of its budget decisions. The introduction of a shared and/or parallel competence for the space sector in the future European constitutional treaty would provide the European Union with the political, legislative and financial means to define and implement a strong space policy which would guarantee autonomous access to space for Europe. The stakes remain high: the EESC asks whether the EU has the political will and the economic clout to maintain its autonomy and remain among the elite of the world of space?

European Health Insurance Card

(Rapporteur: Mr Gérard Dantin, Group II, Employees, France)

The EESC welcomes the creation of a health insurance card, the creation of which was decided by the Barcelona European Council in order to streamline procedures for seeking health treatment across the EU. The health facilities it will provide will, in the view of the Committee, significantly contribute to the free movement of citizens within the EU and will strengthen the concept of European citizenship. The Committee also calls for the visual design of the card to be "Europeanised" in the same way as EU passports.

Quality of Bathing Water:

(Rapporteur: Mr Stéphane Buffetot, Group I, Employers, France)

The EESC recognises the interest of a new directive that takes account of scientific and technical progress. It stresses the need to stick to realistic recommendations that are of real interest to public health; in this regard it supports the exclusion of recreational waters from the scope of the revised directive on bathing water.

Tunnel Safety/Trans-European Road Network

(Rapporteur: Mr Philippe Levaux, Group I, Employers, France)

Mutual Recognition of Decisions on the Expulsion of Third-Country Nationals

(Rapporteur: Mr Pariza Castanos, Group II, Employees, Spain)

Ship Source Pollution/Sanctions

Rapporteur: Mr Eduardo Chagas, Group II, Employees, Portugal)

Please click here for the full list of Opinions that are due to be adopted.

For more details, please contact:

Vasco de Oliveira or Tristan Macdonald at the EESC Press Office.

Tel: 02 546 9396/9586; Mobile: 0475 753 202;

e-mail: press@eesc.europa.eu

Website: http://eesc.europa.eu/press/index_en.asp

The European Economic and Social Committee represents the various economic and social components of organised civil society. It is an institutional consultative body established by the 1957 Treaty of Rome. Its consultative role enables its members, and hence the organisations they represent, to participate in the Community decision-making process. The Committee has 222 members. Its members are appointed by the Council of Ministers.


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