On Thursday 23 October 2014, the Various Interests Group of the European Economic and Social Committee is co-organising a major conference, in partnership with the CARIPLO Foundation and the Consumer's Forum of the ANIA (National Association of Insurance Companies). The venue is the prestigeous Centro Congressi Fondazione Cariplo, Via Romagnosi, 8 - 20121 Milan and the conference will take place from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The main objective of the event is to inject more momentum into the process launched by the European Council of December 2012 to boost EU Policy on Social Innovation. The event will provide a platform for dynamic dialogue between key private and public stakeholders from financial institutions, insurance firms, foundations, third sector organisations as well as European and national public authorities. The intention is to bring together all the elements and the people needed to draft a final declaration that will be submitted to the Italian Presidency and to the EU Institutions at the beginning of the new European legislative period.
Official meetings of the EESC and its bodies
Reinforcing European industrial competitiveness is one of key priorities of the Italian presidency of the EU Council. Since the Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee fully supports this approach, the group would like to initiate an open discussion on the tools needed to rebuild Europe's industry and boost its competitiveness, drawing vital lessons from the Italian case. The representatives of the European Commission and the Italian presidency together with members of the Employers' Group and invited guests will attempt to identify the main external challenges for the European industrial base and define the economic sectors that could be the most competitive on the global market.
The Cotonou Agreement gives mandate to the EESC to keep a dialogue with ACP economic and social interest groups. Within this framework, every three years the EESC organises a general meeting in Brussels bringing together representatives from all ACP countries. This is the most important EESC activity in relation to ACP countries.
The 27th Meeting of ACP-EU Economic and Social Interest Groups will take place from 29 to 31 October 2014 at the EESC headquarters, located at 99 rue Belliardstraat, 1040 Brussels, Belgium.
The main topics on the agenda will be the trade relations between the ACP countries and the EU, the sustainable development goals and the post-2015 agenda, as well as the role of the private sector in development cooperation.
The EESC maintains longstanding relations with ACP countries. The Cotonou Agreement on relations between African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and European Union (EU) countries mandates the EESC to promote dialogue between economic and social players in EU and ACP countries.
Against this backdrop, the 27th meeting will bring together some 160 participants – including representatives of economic and social partners from the 78 ACP countries – in order to gather their views on the above-mentioned topics. Representatives of Economic and Social Councils of ACP and European countries, representatives of EU and ACP institutions, international socio-professional organizations (employers, trade unions, farmers, consumers) and NGOs will also be invited. The conclusions of the meeting will be sent to political bodies and the main EU and ACP partners.
Affordable broadband connectivity and services are essential for generating economic growth, global competitiveness, and for achieving social progress. Moreover, in the context of the economic crisis, a better penetration of broadband is vital to job creation and the introduction of innovative new services, including the use of e-Government. The latter plays an important role for it has the potential to increase public involvement in a community, improve local democracy and strengthen level of trust.