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10 December 2012


The European Economic and Social Committee will hold its next plenary session on 12 and 13 December. The session will be marked by the award ceremony for the 5th annual Civil Society Prize and a debate with the Swedish Minister for EU affairs, consumer and democracy issues, Birgitta Ohlsson, both taking place on 12 December.

The EESC plenary session will be webstreamed online:

Opinions to be discussed and voted on at the plenary session include:

Recovery and resolution of credit institutions

Measures to introduce effective resolution of failing financial institutions in the EU are an essential part of completing the internal market. The Committee supports the introduction of the proposed tools but would welcome further clarification about those that are new and that have not been tested in a systemic crisis, as well as a roadmap towards the future system of financing.

A macro-regional strategy in the Mediterranean

Looking at examples of macro-regional strategies for the Baltic Sea and Danube regions, the Committee believes that sub-regional cooperation must be consolidated without delay so as to boost trade, tourism, and industrial links in the southern Mediterranean.

A Common Strategic Framework for implementing cohesion policy objectives

The Committee supports the creation of a CSF that enhances coordination and complementarity between the EU's main funding instruments. However, the Committee is concerned about the proper involvement of civil society in partnership contracts and about delays in achieving political agreement on the cohesion legislative package, which will have a negative impact on preparations for the 2014-2020 programming period.

Code of conduct partnership

Genuine partnership involving all civil society players in the preparation, execution and evaluation of EU cohesion policy contributes directly to its efficiency and quality. The EESC is therefore deeply disappointed that the proposed Code of Conduct has been deleted from the Commission's proposal by the Council, and regards this as a direct attack on the partnership principle.

Bringing renewables onto the market

As a way of driving down energy prices for end users, the EESC recommends a thorough reform of cost-ineffective national schemes supporting renewable energy. The EESC favours EU-wide schemes, each tailored to a different technology. However, until a single market for energy is completed and fully functional, "support schemes should be tailored to each electricity price area", the Committee is likely to say in its opinion on "Renewable energy: a major player in the European energy market". The EESC will further argue that after 2020 the EU's climate aims would be best pursued through emission reduction targets and an appropriate carbon price, as well as targeted measures for renewables.

Key Enabling Technologies, a new battle for EU industry

Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are present in our daily lives. From cars to washing machines, software to solar panels, KETs represent a major segment of manufacturing industry. However, Europe is lagging behind its international competitors in putting innovative technology into actual marketed products. In its opinion on KETs, the EESC will call for more efficient help for EU industry in turning innovative projects into manufacturing successes.

Rights of disabled persons

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) was ratified in 2010 by the EU. The EESC calls on the EU institutions and on the Member States to make an effort, despite the difficult financial situation, to translate into reality the principles enshrined in the Convention. Among other proposals, the Committee suggests organising a second "State of the Union on Disability" in 2013 to take stock of the implementation of the UN CRPD.

Rio+20 revisited

Following its close involvement in the 2012 Rio+20 conference, the EESC is now assessing whether policy decisions taken in Rio are translating into action at all levels. In its upcoming opinion the Committee will call for greater involvement by civil society in designing the future global economy.

Social farming initiatives

Social farming initiatives support disadvantaged people through therapy or rehabilitation, social or labour market reintegration, or training and education. The purpose of this own-initiative opinion is to examine the potential advantages for society of social farming, and possible barriers preventing its full development.

For a full agenda, click here.

For more information, please contact:

Karin Füssl, Head of the Press Unit


Tel.: +32 2 546 8722

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