EESC adopts Opinion on Environmental, Social and Governance ratings

EESC adopts Opinion on Environmental, Social and Governance ratings

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On 25 October, the European Economic and Social Committee adopted a report by Krzysztof Balon on the transparency and integrity of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings, on which Better Europe’s senior consultant Yiorgos Vassalos acted as advisor to the rapporteur. In the report, the EESC recommends the adoption of minimum quality requirements for ESG ratings, such as the mandatory inclusion of the assessment of company impact on people and the environment (double materiality). It also proposes reinforcing the provisions against conflicts of interest, improved transparency by moving more information on the methodology of ratings to the public domain, and a lot more. The full EESC opinion was adopted in plenary with 166 votes in favour, 2 against, and 2 abstentions, and several Members of the European Parliament have integrated…
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EESC adopts Opinion on the Retail Investment Strategy proposals

EESC adopts Opinion on the Retail Investment Strategy proposals

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Just one day ahead of the European Parliament's deadline for amendments, the European Economic and Social Committee adopted a report from Kestutis Kupsys on the Commission's Retail Investment Strategy, on which Better Europe's director Joost Mulder acted as advisor to the rapporteur. In the report, the EESC recommends basic products to be extended to provide a benchmark for product manufacturers to do better; to increase training requirements for people selling financial products who often themselves do not fully understand the complex products they are selling, including on sustainability matters; to measure and disclose the actual sustainability impact of investments; to always offer a sustainable product in investment advice situations, with a default for the sustainable option, and much more. The full EESC opinion was adopted in plenary with 209 votes…
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EU2024 – the Final Countdown begins

EU2024 – the Final Countdown begins

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The current European Parliament (2019-2024) is coming back to work after its last summer recess, in view of a very busy autumn into the Brussels bubble. With the official date of the last plenary session now set for 22-25 April 2024, the final countdown before the 2024 elections, which will bring forward a brand-new European Parliament, has officially begun. Summer developments The two major European political parties, the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), show two different trends according to the July polls. The EPP continues to lose another 4 seats compared to earlier polls, bringing it down to 157 seats, and S&D recovers a bit, to 143 seats. The race for third place goes on as the liberal Renew Europe group…
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EU Friday – 22 March

EU Friday – 22 March

EU Friday, Uncategorized
Welcome to Better Europe's weekly update on EU Affairs. SPRINT AHEAD OF ELECTIONS: DEADLINES EXPIRE, ANOTHER GERMAN SPITZENKANDIDAT With a little more than two months left to the next European Parliament elections on 6-9 June, the second deadline to reach inter-institutional agreements on legislative proposals (trilogue deals) expires today. Initially planned for 15 March and now extended to 22 March, agreements before the second deadline can still be formally endorsed by the current Parliament in committee and its last plenary in April. However, legal-linguistic changes would however be to be formalised by the next Parliament. Any agreement reached as of next week will go into trilogue negotiations in the autumn for approval in what is technically referred to as an “early second reading”. Moving matters to the next mandate can…
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“Step behind the scenes of EU advocacy” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“Step behind the scenes of EU advocacy” – Impressions of the EU Academy

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The March EU Academy ‘Advocating for the public good: gearing up for the 2020 German Council Presidency’ gathered eighteen participants working on a variety of policy areas, such as climate, sustainable development, human rights and agriculture with varying levels of experience. Led by Marc-Olivier Herman and Joost Mulder, the training combined the essentials of EU decision-making, insights from Council representatives and key steps of an advocacy strategy in a uniquely interactive format. Exploring the role of the Council was undoubtedly a breath of fresh air as its importance in EU advocacy often gets overlooked. However, what made the training really stand out for me was that it went beyond facts and theory. Not only did it offer unique insights into the essentials on ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘who’ in advocacy but…
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“A hands-on learning experience on EU advocacy” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“A hands-on learning experience on EU advocacy” – Impressions of the EU Academy

EU Academy, Uncategorized
On 10th March, I entered Holland House as a newcomer to Brussels in order to get a better understanding of the EU institutions. 1.5 days later, I left with an incredible amount of practical insights into EU advocacy, including new ideas as to how, when and who to engage with in the Brussels bubble, as well as a broadened network of key NGO people with great experiences in advocacy for the public good. In less than two days, I was given many more practical insights than in my Political Science and European Union studies at University thanks to the great practical knowledge of two EU-experienced trainers, insiders from different EU institutions, and from diverse participants working in fields such as human rights, the environment, corporate accountability and migration. They not…
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“Preparing for the incoming German presidency” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“Preparing for the incoming German presidency” – Impressions of the EU Academy

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On the 10th of March, together with other participants from like-minded organisations, I was warmly welcomed by Marc, Lucy and Joost at Holland House to gear up for the 2020 German Council Presidency for what would be an interactive and intensive two-day training. Although I have some experience in EU advocacy, I never studied the EU institutions during my education. I lacked concrete insight into the different institutions and had little knowledge on the interactions between the Commission, Parliament and Council. Hence, I was happy to learn that the first half day of the course introduced us to this ‘golden triangle’ and the EU policy cycle. Marc and Joost took us on a journey to explore the EU ‘tube map’ and provided us with all the essentials of EU policy-making…
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Highlights from the first three EU Academy trainings 2019-2020

Highlights from the first three EU Academy trainings 2019-2020

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A diverse and eager group attended EUChanger’s first training in Brussels on 21 June 2019. Focussing on influencing for the public good in the post-election context, the first EU Academy attracted 20 participants active in a wide range of policy areas including: climate, energy, international development, corporate governance, sustainable finance, tax, and human rights. It was a packed day with expert input from Vote Watch Europe on the outcome of the May European elections, a dynamic training on EU influencing essentials drawing on the experience of EUChanger’s Marc-Olivier Herman and Better Europe’s Joost Mulder, a lunch debate with advisors of various EP political groups and a group simulation on a current legislative file. The feedback we received from many participants shows just how important this type of training is for…
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“A new level of knowledge” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“A new level of knowledge” – Impressions of the EU Academy

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Next level of knowledge - I learned more from this programme than I have from years of studying political science. That might be slightly provocative – not least towards my dear university – but of course, in reality there is no conflict. Academic knowledge provides a general structure, which serves its purpose. From this training, I instead got a new level of knowledge of the institutions and how to work towards them: more detailed, more actionable, and more powerful. High-level speakers - The level of the guest speakers, the quality of their contributions and the generosity of their attention were very high. In the constructive and open conversations we were able to have, we discussed details on how to interact with the EU institutions. The perspectives of the guests gave…
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“An educational and inspiring ride” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“An educational and inspiring ride” – Impressions of the EU Academy

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On a sunny Thursday morning, myself and a wonderful group of other young professionals from various non-profit organisations in Brussels and beyond gathered in Holland House on Place de Luxembourg in Brussels. With a beautiful and fitting view of the European Parliament against the blue autumn sky, we embarked on an educational, exciting, high-speed journey along the EU policy and legislative tube line. The two-day EU Academy course “Advocating for the public good: from one European Commission to the next” organised by EUChanger and Better Europe Public Affairs began with a brief summary of the outcomes of the 2019 European elections, followed by a more general overview of the EU institutions and policy cycle. Coming to the course in the hope to gain a better understanding of how the European…
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