The European Citizens' Initiative, the European Parliament as co-legislator in the majority of EU policies, an enhanced role for national parliaments: the Lisbon Treaty has brought about many positive changes to bridge the gap between the EU and its citizens. However, the existing Treaties provide untapped opportunities which could be grasped to improve policies and strengthen the EU both internally and externally. Whether exploring deeper policy action or improving implementation, there is a wealth of policy areas and technical instruments which could be tapped. This should be the current priority for the European Union and its institutional set-up, says the European Economic and Social Committee.
On 8 May 2015, the European Economic and Social Committee hosted a working meeting of the project 'Making Europe work through Civil Society', launched by Europe Enterprise Challenge (EEC). The EEC is an association working to achieve a successful Europe through and thanks to civil society. It aims to encourage European civil society's initiatives, in particular the ones from European entrepreneurs, at a time where the gap between the European project and its citizens is becoming wider. This project is intended to confer a new and popular legitimacy to Europe, to proceed with a renewal of ideas about Europe and to give EU citizens the tools to understand what Europe can do for them. Henri Malosse, President of the EESC and Honorary President of EEC, welcomed this first brainstorming meeting, focused on two targets: entrepreneurs and young people.
Programme - Europe Day: today's entrepreneurs & yesterday's leader
The EESC supports the Members of the Parliament's commission on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, who, on 6 May, have again called on the Commission and the Council to remove the barriers blocking the reform of the directive on maternity leave...
At the inaugural meeting in Kiev, on 16 and 17 April, the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform was established following a lengthy preparatory process. High-level representatives from the Ukrainian government, together with the EU Ambassador to Ukraine, were present and pointed to the importance of taking into account the voice of civil society in implementing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
European Passport to Active Citizenship.
The new EPTAC in 23 official languages facilitates public participation across the European Union, the world’s biggest transnational democracy, with its 28 member states, 500 regions and more than 100 000 municipalities.
Trying to change the education system? Having a problem with poisoned food products? Want to move the lorries from road to rail? Or having problems registering your company across the border? EU citizens have many rights and face hard choices – but they need to know what options they have to influence issues and in which arenas.
EESC Member Mihai Manoliu (Employers' Group) opened the exhibition So long ago in the future. Dreams for Future Odysseys. The exhibition, which is part of the EESC's Space and Society project, is a display of 50 paintings by final-year students at the Nicolae Tonitza Fine Arts High School in Bucharest, Romania. The students have used their paintings to set out their vision of space.
Despite frustration with bureaucratic hurdles, the ECI Day offered some grounds for hope
While citizens' political interest remains unchanged, many initiatives collapse right at the outset because of the amount of red tape which is not only considerable, but also differs from one Member State to another.
On 1 April 2015, the EESC members Ionut Sibian, President of the Western Balkans Follow-up Committee and Cveto Stantič, member of the Communication Group took part in the event on the independence of public service media in enlargement countries, organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
On 23-24 April 2015, the EESC will be taken over by young people and their teachers from all 28 EU countries for the sixth edition of "Your Europe, Your Say". This event will give young people a chance to see how EESC decision-making works and debate some of the key social and political issues currently faced by Europe.
This year will focus on the importance of European active citizenship, participatory democracy and European Citizens' Initiative (ECI).
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The EESC members Ionut Sibian, President of the Western Balkans Follow-up Committee and Cveto Stantič, member of the Communication Group take part in the event on the independence of public service media in enlargment countries, organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
On 26 March, the TTYPE (Track and Trace Your Pension in Europe) Consortium presented its final report on a roadmap towards creating a European pension tracking service, which was handed over to the European Commission. The conference, organised together with the EESC, discussed possible next steps towards implementing this service.