11 Dec 2003 Ref: 090/2003 EESC DELIVERS STRONG MESSAGE TO BARNIER ON EVE OF IGC In an unprecedented gesture, Commissioner Michel Barnier came to address the EESC's plenary session literally hours before the opening of the crunch Intergovernmental Conference on Europe's future. Barnier delivered a strong message. "We don't want a new Nice Treaty," he said and, referring to Europe's particular model of cohesion policy, stated "Europe is much more than a supermarket." He also emphasized his agreement with the Committee's stance over the importance of respecting the text submitted by the European Convention to the IGC in June. "I share your view", he said. "This text, in its look and its dynamic, must not be unraveled." He ended by warning: "In order to have strong policies, you need to have strong institutions".
* Progress on enlargement (presentation by the Commission);
* Opinion entitled "Repercussions of the Americas' Free Trade Area Agreement on EU Relations with Latin America and the Carribbean (Rapporteur: Mr Soares)
* Presentation of the Report entitled, "Good Jobs Wanted: the Labour Market in Latin America" a report by the Inter-American Development Bank
8 Dec 2003 Ref: 087/2003 PLENARY SESSION DECEMBER 2003 * COMMISSIONER MICHEL BARNIER TO ADDRESS EESC ON THE IGC AND COHESION POLICY
* 30 ORGANISED CIVIL SOCIETY REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE ACCEDING COUNTRIES ATTENDING SESSION
* VOTE ON MEMBERS STATUTE
* LISBON STRATEGY RESOLUTION TO BE ADOPTED
* KEY OWN-INTITIATIVE OPINIONS TO BE ADOPTED ON TRANS-EUROPEAN NETWORKS, TAXATION; OPINION ON IMMIGRATION INTEGRATION AND EMPLOYMENT
5 Dec 2003 Ref: 088/2003 PREPARING FOR ENLARGEMENT: EESC DELEGATION, LED BY ROGER BRIESCH, BACK FROM BRATISLAVA Future enlargement of the European Union; the contribution that Slovakia will provide as a full member of the European Union; the role of the EESC within the European Union set-up: just some of the key themes that came up for discussion during an official meeting in Bratislava on 3 December between an EESC Delegation led by President Roger Briesch and the President of the Republic of Slovakia, Rudolf Schuster.
4 Dec 2003 Ref: 086/2003 EU-INDIA CIVIL SOCIETY DIALOGUE MAKING PROGRESS: SIXTH MEETING OF THE INDIA-EU ROUND TABLE ROME 16-17 DECEMBER Barriers to trade and investment flows between India and the EU; social protection for the informal sector through micro-financing; the role of the media in promoting and strengthening civil society; cultural dialogue and public perceptions about India and the EU: four key issues that will have pride of place on the agenda of the forthcoming India-EU Round Table that is due to take place between 16-17 December in Rome.
The European Year for People with Disabilities has helped to highlight the needs and requirements of people with disabilities. However it has failed to introduce a specific EU Directive based on Article 13 of the Treaty making it unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities in all spheres of life. It has also fallen short in exploiting the open method of coordination in the field of disability. More needs to be done to ensure greater mainstreaming of disability considerations, not just into the world of work but into all areas of public life. More also needs to be done to ensure sustainable progress and real momentum.
21 Nov 2003 Ref: 084/2003 INDUSTRIAL CHANGE: NOT A THREAT BUT A POTENTIAL MOTOR FOR JOB CREATION * It is essential for European companies to accept and embrace the concept of industrial change in order to survive, generate wealth and pay for Europe's unique socio-economic model.
* Industrial change must be managed: the failure to provide a framework can result in chaos and unnecessary instability.
* Input from both employers and trade unions is required through genuine partnership. It must also provide assistance and find ways of helping and re-orientating those who, as a result of change, lose their job.
Just a few of the considerations to come out of the European Economic and Social Committee/Dublin Foundation joint conference that took place at the Committee's headquarters on 20-21 November.
19 Nov 2003 Ref: 082/2003 THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN EURO-MEDITERRANEAN POLICY AFTER ENLARGEMENT 23-24 NOVEMBER 2003 JOINT CONFERENCE IN ROME Eastward enlargement and the EU's Mediterranean strategy; the role of civil society in the political and economic challenges facing the Euro-Mediterranean region; social cohesion in the enlargement countries, the Euro-Mediterranean region and the new neighbouring countries: three key themes that are to discussed during the forthcoming joint conference that has been organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Consiglio Nationale dell'Economia e del Lavoro - Italy's Economic and Social Council – (CNEL) entitled "the role of civil society in Euro-Mediterranean Policy after enlargement".