16 Sep 2003 Ref: 054/2003 EESC CONFERENCEThe EESC is to host a major international conference entitled "The contribution of organised civil society to the Lisbon Process: For a more participatory Union" on 8-10 October 2003.
14 Sep 2003 Ref: 055b/2003 THE FIFTH WTO MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE IN CANCÚN, MEXICO THE EESC's RESPONSEThe European Economic and Social Committee deplores the failure of the Cancún WTO ministerial conference, which stalls the progress of the Doha agenda negotiations and casts doubt on the planned negotiating schedule. The Committee hopes that the outcome of the ministerial conference will not compromise the various parties' commitment to promoting multilateralism and taking the WTO negotiations forward.
9 Sep 2003 Ref: 055/2003 EESC/WTO MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE AT CANCUN"The Committee sincerely hopes the Cancun conference will be a success. It remains concerned by the difficulty in making progress with the agenda that was agreed at Doha eighteen months ago. It wants to see a relaunch of the dynamism of the negotiations in order to complete the Round by the end of next year. The Committee also underlines the importance of sending a positive signal for the international economy and for investor confidence, for growth and for employment, which have all been significantly affected by the constant deterioration of the state of the economy. Finally, the Committee wishes to see an improvement in the procedures of the WTO along the lines of those proposed by the Committee in a recent Opinion entitled "for a WTO with a human face". The Opinion notably examines the importance of associating organised civil society to a greater extent with the work of the WTO.
This is a brief summary of the European Economic and Social Committee's position on the eve of the Cancun Conference (10-14 September) according to Bruno Vever (EESC Member and rapporteur of the recently adopted own-initiative Opinion on the fifth ministerial conference of the WTO). The Committee will also be represented at Cancun by Anne Marie Sigmund (President Group 3 – various interests) and Mario Sepi (President Group 2 – workers).
18 Jul 2003 Ref: 053/2003 JULY PLENARY SESSIONVisit of Mr Rocco Buttiglione, (Italian Minister for Community Policy)
Presentation of the Italian Presidency's work programme during the EESC's Plenary session
The Italian Presidency asks the EESC for three exploratory Opinions on:
* Social and economic cohesion;
* The role of organised civil society in the new European Strategy for the Western Balkans;
* Transport links – the large European transport networks – Development of transport links
18 Jul 2003 Ref: 052/2003 A DELEGATION OF PALESTINIAN CIVIL SOCIETY REPRESENTATIVES VISIT THE EESCAs part of the EESC's Euro-Mediterranean activities, a delegation of Palestinian civil society representatives was invited to Brussels during the week of the July plenary session. The delegation comprised members of chambers of commerce, trade unions, consumer groups, farmers' organisations, women's groups and academia. The delegation was headed by Mr Hanna Siniora, chairman of the European Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and publisher of The Jerusalem Times.
10 Jul 2003 Ref: 050 /2003 HIGHLIGHTS OF JULY PLENARY SESSION* Rocco Buttiglione, Italian Minister for European Policy (Wednesday afternoon); Tarso Genro, Brazilian Labour Minister and Executive Secretary of the newly formed Brazilian Development Economic and Social Council (Thursday morning) will attend this month's plenary session that is due to take place within the European Parliament headquarters in Brussels on 16-17 July.
* Opinions on The role of civil society in European development policy, Preparations for the fifth WTO ministerial conference, EU-China relations, Credit for consumers and Industrial policy in an enlarged Europe due for adoption.
7 Jul 2003 Ref: 049/2003 CAP MIDTERM REVIEW : a reaction from the EESCThe European Economic and Social Committee cautiously welcomes the political agreement reached by the Council on the Midterm review of the CAP and intends to follow future developments carefully, preparing a more in depth analysis once the formal legislative proposals have been put forward.
In general, the Committee welcomes the fact that EU negotiating positions at the WTO will be strengthened as a result of this agreement.
4 Jul 2003 Ref: 048/2003 Mr BRIESCH VISITS TUNISIA AT THE INVITATION OF THE TUNISIAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCILThe EESC President, Mr Briesch, was in Tunis on 1 and 2 July on an official visit at the invitation of the Tunisian Economic and Social Council. Mr Briesch met the Tunisian Prime Minister, Mr Mohamed Ghannouchi, his Tunisian counterpart Mr Abdallah Kaabi, the Head of the European Commission delegation Mr Pierini, and a range of representatives of Tunisian civil society.