Since December 2010, popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East have led to a historic shift in the region, which has involved the active participation of all social strata and numerous civil society organisations.
In light of these developments, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion on "Promoting representative civil societies in the Euromed region" at its 474th plenary session on 21 September 2011. There is no doubt about the political character of this opinion, which will be presented in the Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar institutions. "The EESC can play an active role in the new European Framework for cooperation with Mediterranean communities by supporting the capacity building efforts of independent and representative civil society. We can use our expertise in social dialogue and economic and social rights", explained Mr Dimitriadis (Employers Group, Greece), the rapporteur for this opinion.