Maximising the contribution of the European Structural and Investment Funds to the Commission’s priorities

14/12/2015 – Today, the Commission adopted a Communication on the contribution of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) to the EU’s growth strategy, the Investment Plan and the Commission’s priorities over the next decade. The report also includes the outcomes of the negotiations with all the Member States on Partnership Agreements and programmes and the key challenges per country.

One in four children at risk of poverty in Europe

24/11/2015 – More than one in four children in Europe are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, which will have repercussions for them throughout life. On Tuesday 24 November MEPs adopted a resolution urging EU countries to boost their efforts to combat child poverty and social inequalities. The text was adopted with 569 in favour, 77 against and 49 abstentions. Check out our map for the latest statistics on child poverty.

EP | We should tackle the roots of migration, say MEPs and ACP parliamentarians

09/12/2015 – MEPs and parliamentarians from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries discussed migration, human rights and refugees during the 30th EU-ACP parliamentary assembly in Brussels on Tuesday 8 December. Most agreed that the roots of migration, such as poverty, war and a lack of human right,s need to be addressed while some also warned that we need to prepare for climate refugees.

MEPs to Commission: make member states share tax information and protect whistle-blowers

14/12/2015 – Tax evasion costs the EU €1 trillion a year in lost tax revenue, according to the European Commission. The Lux leaks scandal showed that EU countries sometimes court multinationals with advantageous tax schemes. These practices were investigated by the Parliament’s special committee on tax rulings. MEPs adopted its report last month and on 15 December MEPs will debate another report, demanding that the Commission introduces legislation to restrain tax competition between EU countries.

EESC | Victims’ Rights in the EU: Now a reality

19/11/2015 – When discovering there was no help, no support nor advice for her and her son, Robbie, victim of a serious attack in Greece that left him with lifelong brain injuries, Maggie Hughes decided to take on the fight for the rights of victims. This fight led her from a helpless situation in 2008 in Crete to having helped influence EU legislation to support victims of crime in the EU in 2012 and to get a final judgement in Robbie’s case in September 2015.68/2015

EESC | TTIP – what’s in it for the social partners? EESC heralded constructive dialogue with social partners

18/11/2015 – The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), together with the Luxembourg Presidency, the European Parliament and the Commission, organised a high-level conference on the Transatlantic Trade, Investment and Partnership Agreement (TTIP) that the United States and Europe have been negotiating for nearly two and half years. Participants called for more transparency, better involvement of social partners and in particular for comprehensive information and communication on all impacts of TTIP – both positive and negative – as discussions showed that many questions remain open, which Commissioner Malmström strove to answer as clearly as possible. “Only an agreement which has the broad support of the social partners and civil society will be a good and sustainable agreement”, was the bottom line. 

EESC | Grassroots organisations from Germany and Finland win first prize in the EESC 2015 Civil Society Prize for combating poverty

10/12/2015 – The five winning initiatives present snap-shots of what is being done by thousands of voluntary groups and NGOs across Europe. Each of the projects tackles the 2015 theme “Combating poverty” in its own way and demonstrates that poverty undermines all aspects of well-being in society, including education, long-term health, housing, access to employment and family relationships.

EESC | “Migration needs both – humanity and clear rules”. EESC calls for a common European asylum and migration policy

10/12/2015 – Europe needs a truly common European asylum system with harmonised procedures throughout Europe. In the current complex situation, Europe needs to secure its borders in a European rather than a national effort while at the same time assisting asylum seekers outside the EU. Moreover, it has to put in place an effective immigration policy which is transparent, clearly outlining who will have a chance to immigrate and welcoming those newcomers by supporting their start in the respective EU Member State.

EP | Julie Ward: Terrorist attacks were the result of exclusion, not multiculturalism

08/12/2015 – Recent events in Europe have brought the issues of marginalisation and extremism to the forefront of public debate. On 7 December Parliament’s culture committee adopted a report on the role of intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and education in promoting EU fundamental values. Ahead of the vote, we spoke to report author Julie Ward, a UK member of the S&D: “We have one world and we have to find some way of being mutually respectful and tolerant of each other.”

EC | Public consultation on work-life balance

18/11/2015 – Today the Commission has launched a public consultation on how to improve work-life balance and reduce obstacles to women’s participation in the labour market. This consultation follows the recent withdrawal of the Commission’s 2008 proposal to amend the Maternity Leave Directive. The Commission has committed to replacing the withdrawn proposal with a ‘new start’ initiative in its Work Programme for 2016.