Today, the European Commission is taking more concrete new initiatives to further deliver on the European Pillar of Social Rights. More specifically, the Commission presents its proposal for a European Labour Authority, as announced by President Juncker in his 2017 State of the Union address, as well as an initiative to ensure access to social protection for all workers and self-employed. These initiatives are accompanied by a Communication on the monitoring of the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which will be closely linked to the European Semester of policy coordination.
Today, the European Commission releases its 2017 report on the Rapid Alert System for dangerous products. The report shows that in 2017, the Rapid Alert System was increasingly used by national authorities with more than 2,000 alerts on dangerous products circulated through the system. Toys, for example several models of the popular fidget spinners, cars and motorcycles, topped the list of dangerous products detected and removed from the market.
The European Commission is today taking a major step towards the development of a Capital Markets Union (CMU) by promoting alternative sources of financing and removing barriers to cross-border investments.
While the CMU will benefit all Member States, it will particularly strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union by promoting private risk-sharing.
The ninth Steering Committee meeting of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey took place in Brussels today, chaired by the European Commission. The meeting brought together representatives of EU Member States and Turkey. Members of the European Parliament also participated as observers. The Commission confirmed the quick and efficient delivery of the EU's commitment to assist Syrian refugees and their host communities in Turkey
The Commission is marking International Women's Day with the release of its 2018 report on equality between men and women, as well as a presentation of a report on women in tech. We are not there yet. The Commission has acted to trigger change. It put forward a proposal to improve the work-life balance of working families, an Action plan to tackle the gender pay gap and called to put an end to violence against women through funding and awareness-raising actions. The 2018 gender equality report shows that progress has stalled in certain areas: women still take on the majority of caring responsibilities in families, the gender pay gap has stagnated at 16% for years and violence against women remains a problem.
The European Commission is today unveiling its strategy for a financial system that supports the EU's climate and sustainable development agenda. As our planet increasingly faces the unpredictable consequences of climate change and resource depletion, urgent action is needed to adapt to a more sustainable model. Around €180 billion of additional investments a year are needed to achieve the EU's 2030 targets agreed in Paris, including a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions. This is why, on the basis of the recommendations set out by the High-Level Expert Group on sustainable finance (HLEG), the Commission is today setting out a roadmap to boost the role of finance in achieving a well-performing economy that delivers on environmental and social goals as well.
The European Commission today publishes its annual analysis of the economic and social situation in the Member States, including progress in implementing country-specific recommendations and an assessment of possible imbalances.
The European economy is expanding robustly and the positive economic outlook is matched by an improved labour market and social situation. This reflects the reforms undertaken by Member States in recent years and provides a window of opportunity to further strengthen the resilience of the EU's economies and societies.Nevertheless, the recovery is not benefitting everybody in society equally and structural weaknesses are holding back growth and convergence in some Member States. That is why EU countries should use this momentum to further strengthen the foundations of their economies.
Today the European Commission signed an administrative arrangement with Tunisia to boost ties in civil protection and disaster risk management. The document, which was signed at this year's European Civil Protection Forum in Brussels, outlines key areas of cooperation on disaster prevention, preparedness and response on issues such as forest fires, floods, and search and rescue missions. The signature of this arrangement is an important step in the reinforcement of the EU-Tunisia Privileged Partnership.
Equality between women and men is one of the fundamental values of the European Union enshrined in our treaties. Our Union is a pioneer in tackling gender-based discrimination and we can be proud of the progress achieved: Europe is one of the safest and most equal places for women in the world.
For the last 10 years, the key EU law on chemicals ("REACH") has significantly enhanced the protection of human health and the environment and promoted alternatives to animal testing. Building on this, the Commission today proposes actions to further facilitate its implementation.