Chamber continues to protect the interests of Estonian entrepreneurs in Brussels
On 28 May, the Government of the Republic confirmed seven Estonian members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), among them representative of the Chamber of Commerce Reet Teder.
- The Chamber is representing Estonian entrepreneurs in the European Economic and Social Committee since the year 2004.
- The greatest successes have had to do with the protection of the freedom of speech in the web portals regulation, entry of proposals that take into account the interests of entrepreneurs into the tax area, standing for the freedom to do business and successful protection of the interest of entrepreneurs in preventing misinformation, consumer agreements and electronic documents regulation.
- Estonia has seven representatives in the EESC, the Chamber is represented by Reet Teder and the substitution member is Mait Palts.
What is the EESC?
The EESC is a European Union institutional and consultative body located in Brussels. It consists of representatives of employee and employer organisations and other stakeholder groups of the EU member states, primarily in the fields of economy and society, citizen activities, professional activities, and culture.
Institutional means that it has been founded with the treaties of the EU, consultative means its advisory status. I.e. it is an organisation that represents different economic and social groupings of member states.
The EESC has two sides – members and administration (employees). The members are appointed by the governments and are confirmed by the Council of the European Union for a five-year term. The term can be extended and the number of members per each country depends on the number of residents of each country. In total, the EESC currently (after the Brits left) has 326 members. Since October 2020, Estonia has 7 seats. (During the current ending period – 6). The bigger the country, the more seats in the Committee, e.g. Germany has 24 seats. The members do not receive salary for their work in the EESC and they are not permanently positioned in Brussels. They come together in various working groups, section meetings and assembly. There are ca 700 EESC employees and they belong to the common system of euro officials.
The EESC members are divided into three groups:
I Employers group;
II Workers group;
III Other stakeholders group.
The representative of the Chamber belongs to the first, the Employers’ group. The members elect the president and two vice-presidents of the Committee who are in office for 2,5 years. The current president is Luca Jahier.
The main form of work of the EESC is preparing opinions. Opinions are submitted to the European Commission, Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, but also to the presidency country. According to the Treaty of the European Union, The European Parliament, Council or Commission have to consult the EESC in cases set out in the Treaty. Furthermore, these institutions may consult the Committee in all cases if they consider it relevant. Additionally, the EESC may express its opinion on its own initiative. In total, the Committee publishes 160-190 opinions and information reports on various topics from economic and social issues to foreign affairs, per year. The EESC calls itself the self-organised voice of the civil society in Europe.
The Chamber of Commerce has been represented in the EESC through different persons since the year 2004 and during that time the interests of our entrepreneurs have been strongly protected. Participating in the work of the EESC creates an opportunity to participate in the decision-making process of the European Union and provides the opportunity to express our positions on the European Union level.
Biggest success in taxation, but not only
As the main achievements of the representative of the Chamber, we could mention the strong positions of Estonia and bringing proposals that consider the interests of entrepreneurs into the EESC opinions in the field of taxation, successful protection of the freed of speech in the regulation of web portals, defending the freedom to do business and successful protection of the interest of entrepreneurs in preventing misinformation, consumer agreements and electronic documents regulation.
Today, the focus of the representative of the Chamber, Reet Teder, is (in addition to the covid-19 crisis) on the protection of Estonia’s right to decide (especially in the field of taxation), issues related to the EU green agreement and potential regulation of the new economic models, especially platform work. Reet Teder has continuously introduced the important topics of the European Union in the channels of the Chamber of Commerce, thereby helping small entrepreneurs in keeping themselves informed of the EU policy directions, planned amendments in legal acts and new EU initiatives.
The Chamber is actively participating in three sections
The EESC has in total six sessions that cover different areas of activities – social and economic affairs, energy, the environment, foreign relations, and internal market. Depending on their expert knowledge, the members participate in the work of one or several sections. The representatives of small countries can participate in three sections. The majority of the preparatory work for forming opinions is carried out in the sections. The Committee also has the consultative commission on industrial change (CCMI) that helps the EU industry in preventing and adjusting to the effects of globalisation.
The sections of the committee are: section for economic and monetary union and economic and social cohesion – ECO; section for single market, production and consumption – INT; section for transport, energy, infrastructure and the information society - TEN; section for employment, social affairs and citizenship - SOC; section for agriculture, rural development and the environment – NAT; foreign relations section – REX; consultative commission on industrial change – CCMI. The Chamber’s representative Reet Teder participates actively in the employer’s committee and its three sections: internal market, consumer protection (INT), macro-economy, tax policy (ECO) and transport, energy, infrastructure (TEN).
Read more on the Committee and its activities at: https://www.eesc.europa.eu/et
Cover photo: Sebastien Pirlet, R. TEDER (EE, Gr I) - EESC plenary session - Day 2, https://www.eesc.europa.eu/et/avdb/photo/20180315eescplenary102jpg