EduBourseActualitésEuropean Commission - EESC 415th Plenary Session 9/10 March 2005

European Commission – EESC 415th Plenary Session 9/10 March 2005

European Parliament, Paul-Henri Spaak building, at 16.00h

Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel
Responsible for Agriculture and rural development
Intervention on the topic of

Rural development
On the occasion of a Committee debate
on the same theme (BROS report)


Key opinions due for adoption:

Midterm review of the Lisbon Strategy (resolution)
Small and medium enterprises (PEZZINI rapport)
Social dimension of globalisation (ETTY/HORNUNG-DRAUS rapport)
Public-Private partnerships (Own initiative opinion, LEVAUX rapport)
Rural development: intervention by Mariann Fischer Boel

The Committee will adopt an opinion on the support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The draft opinion by M. Gilbert Bros, (Group III, various interests, France) contains the following main topics:

The Committee’s draft opinion stresses that the EAFRD cannot, by itself, provide a solution to all the problems of rural development. A tie-in with the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund should be examined further.

To ensure the economic and social sustainability of rural areas, the draft opinion considers it necessary to take into account the contribution of the CAP’s two pillars to the maintenance and creation of employment in all the EU’s regions. The draft asks the Commission and the Council to include the new directions of the CAP in the mid-term assessment of the Lisbon strategy.

The draft opinion also points out that the Commission’s financial proposal represents a minimum basis for discussion, without which the future rural development policy could not form an effective part of the sustainable development strategy or of the Lisbon strategy.

The draft also proposes several changes as regards the policy guidelines arising from the Salzburg conference, such as the maintenance of the link between the 1st and 2nd pillars of the CAP, the principle of subsidiarity in planning measures, and greater simplification of procedures for the final beneficiary.

Intervention by Mariann Fischer Boel

Before the adoption of the opinion, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development, Mariann Fischer Boel, will address the Committee. Her intervention is scheduled for Wednesday, 9 March at 16.15h.

Midterm review of the Lisbon Strategy

The EESC plenary will debate about the mid-term review of the Lisbon Strategy and the message it wishes to send to the European Council meeting on 22 and 23 march.

The Committee has drawn up an explanatory opinion entitled “Improving the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy” and organised a series of conferences and meetings on this topic. For further information and all available documents and EESC contributions to this debate, please consult our Lisbon Strategy Web Page:

Key opinions due for adoption

The following key opinions are due to be adopted during the 415th plenary session:

Multiannual programme for enterprise and entrepreneurship, and in particular for SMEs (2001-2005)

Rapporteur: M. Antonello Pezzini (Group I, Employers, Italy)

The Committee’s draft opinion puts the emphasis on the new member states. It calls for a series of meetings with representatives of SME organisations with the aim of discussing best practice and focusing on the specific difficulties of the new Member States. This would make a valuable contribution to the new framework programme.

The draft opinion calls for a fourth European conference on micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises in 2006 with the aim of exploring solutions to the most pressing issues raised by the new Member States in the field of enterprise policy.

The draft opinion considers that it is vital to acknowledge that the problems of micro- and small enterprises are different from those of large enterprises, or that they have different characteristics, because their resources, instruments and support systems cannot be compared with those at the disposal of large enterprises. It is therefore essential that these considerations be taken increasingly into account in the quest for new resources and development instruments.

Social Dimension of Globalisation – the EU’s policy contribution on extending the benefits to all

Rapporteur: M Thomas Etty (Group II, Employees, Netherlands)

Co-rapporteur: Ms Renate Hornung-Draus (Group I, Employers, Germany)

The Committee’s draft opinion underlines the importance of a values-based approach to globalisation in terms of those concepts that constitute the essence of a social market economy. Such aspects are individual responsibility, respect for the rule of law, respect for the individual and property, transparency, integrity, human dignity, equality and freedom, fundamental trade union and workers rights, access to education, sound industrial relations and a high level of social protection.

The EESC draft opinion calls upon the Commission as well as the Member States to assure policy coherence in relevant areas. The draft welcomes the Commission’s intention to set up new joint mechanisms in bilateral agreements to discuss and monitor relevant aspects for the social dimension of globalisation in which other international organisations could be invited to participate (“Joint bilateral observatories”).

Role of the EIB in Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)

Own initiative opinion

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

PPPs offer the opportunity to capture private sector efficiencies and introduce appropriate risk-sharing mechanisms between the public and private sector. The EIB’s overall experience is that the performance of the projects it has financed has been good.

The EESC draft opinion welcomes the EIB’s prominent and “impartial role” in PPP development and in supporting growth and the improvement of public services in the Member States by providing the funds necessary to carry out work in the following areas:

trans-European networks and the modernisation of transport infrastructure;
school and university education;
primary and secondary healthcare; and
environmental improvement.
The draft opinion calls upon all bodies of public experts in the various Member States to cooperate amongst themselves and with the EIB in order to be able to forward to the Commission, in good time, accumulated experience of best practices.

Agenda of the plenary session
For more details, please contact:
Vasco de Oliveira or Christian Weger at the EESC Press Office.
Rue Belliard 99, B-1040; Bruxelles
Tel.: 02 546 9396/9586; Mobile: 0475 753 202
e-mail : [email protected]


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 317 members. Its members are appointed by the Council.

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