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Study visit by the Palestinian Minister of Labour and Palestinian civil society representatives to the EESC

Palestinian delegation at the External Relations' Section

At the end of January, the EESC welcomed a 15- member Palestinian delegation, which included the Palestinian Labour Minister, Mr Ahmad Majdalani, and leading representatives of Palestinian employers, trade union, women's and other civil society organisations, to its headquarters in Brussels. The visit took place in the context of the ILO and the Palestinian Authority's ongoing efforts to establish a Palestinian Economic and Social Council (ESC) that would enable Palestinian civil society to voice its views on political affairs and boost participatory democracy in the Palestinian territories. The visit gave the Palestinian delegation the opportunity to find out about how an existing ESC operates, based on the example of the EESC, discuss common challenges faced by ESCs, and pinpoint the benefits for policy-making and public involvement in political life that they can generate through their work. - The Palestinian ESC is expected to be launched in spring 2012.