The 2nd meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform will take place on 11 February 2016 in EESC premises in Brussels. During the meeting, a debate will be held assessing the state of play in the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, and two reports, prepared by both sides, will be discussed and adopted – on energy policy and on the rule of law, with a focus on fight against corruption. A Joint Declaration will be adopted at the end of the meeting to be forwarded to the EU-Ukraine Association Council, the Association Committee, the Parliamentary Association Committee and other relevant bodies both in Ukraine as well as in the EU.
The EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform, established in April 2015, complements the political bodies existing within the framework of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. It allows civil society organisations from both sides to monitor the implementation process from the point of view of civil society, and prepare its recommendations to the relevant authorities.
The Platform has 15 members on both sides. On the EU side, it is comprised of 9 EESC members and 6 observers from European civil society networks (Eurochambres, BusinessEurope, ETUC, Copa-Cogeca, Cooperatives Europe, EaP Civil Society Forum).
The EESC supports the intention of the Dutch Presidency of the Council to address poverty through integrated approaches and through cooperation between public and private stakeholders. However, to do so, Member States must be supported by a common European framework and best-practice actors by national anti-poverty strategies. The EU Council should reiterate the commitment made to meet Europe's poverty target by 2020.
Georges Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, will express the support of European civil society for the political priorities of the Dutch presidency during his visit to The Netherlands on Wednesday 10 February.
He is scheduled to meet with Ms Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment, to discuss the priorities of the EESC during the Dutch Presidency term, notably concerning a number of referrals for EESC opinions on Europe's social issues.
During another meeting with Ms Brigitte van der Burg, Chair of the Dutch Parliament's Committee on Social Affairs and Employment, the EESC President will discuss entrepreneurship, civil society activities and youth policy.
Mr Dassis will then meet Ms Mariëtte Hamer, President of the Dutch Social and Economic Council (SER) to discuss further cooperation.
The Dutch presidency has requested the EESC to carry out 10 exploratory opinions related to Europe's social issues, integration of migrants and the shape of Europe's economy, the EESC is determined to deliver strong and concrete solutions to make a better Europe for all.
Georges Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, reiterated European civil society organisations' support in this to Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, when the two met today.
This increased support entails greater political cooperation between the Commission and the EESC so as to bring the European institutions closer to the people of Europe and to defend the values and major successes of the Union, such as the achievements of the Schengen agreement and the Union's achievements in the social domain and the consolidation thereof.
IN THIS ISSUE: Cycling heroes ask EU decision-makers to experience disability for just one day; Managing the refugee and migration crisis; Dutch EU presidency: focusing on the essentials; Your Europe, Your Say! 2016 - Giving a voice to young people.