At its upcoming plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee will host a debate on the afternoon of 18 September on The economic and social situation of women in the Euro-Mediterranean region with Esther Fouchier, founder of the Mediterranean Women's Forum (FFM), Jamal Hermes Ghibril, president of the Lebanese Women's Council, and Salwa Kennou Sebei, member of the Association of Tunisian Women for Development Research (AFTURD).
Another highlight of the session will be a discussion on the "Water for All" European Citizens' Initiative, which seeks to ensure water as a human right for all rather than using it as a private sector commodity, with statements by Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, General Secretary of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and Riccardo Petrella, Secretary General of the International Committee for the World Water Contract. The debate is expected to arouse great interest, as it is a major issue for many EU Member States at both regional and national level.
492nd EESC Plenary Session
18 and 19 September 2013
Charlemagne building (European Commission), De Gasperi room, Brussels
You can watch the plenary session live at: http://www.eesc.europa.eu
The full agenda is available here.
Opinions to be discussed and voted on at the plenary session include:
Plastic waste is a global problem affecting the terrestrial and especially the marine environment. The EESC will call for a sustainable and economically viable EU strategy to address the entire life-cycle of plastics in order to reduce, process and recycle plastic waste.
Enhancing civil society partnerships to deliver the Baltic Sea Region Strategy more effectively in 2014-2020
According to the EESC there is sufficient organisational experience and competence in the Baltic Sea Region to build upon, and recommends that the Baltic Sea Region Strategy embrace a civil society partnership.
Food security and bioenergy
The current system of biomass production for energy purposes has an impact on food security, on the land, on the economy, on prices and on society as a whole. According to the EESC, these effects should be assessed in order to rectify inefficiencies and distortions.
Future of Carbon Capture and Storage in Europe
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can provide an answer to climate policy. The EESC considers that an active programme of CCS demonstration projects should be continued to overcome the concerns raised by the public.
Revision of the nuclear safety directive
Citizens rightly expect verifiable high standards and consistency. Lessons to be learned from Fukushima suggest further safety insights. Among other measures, the EESC calls for enhanced public information and transparency, and for public and civil society organisations to be effectively and actively involved.
European measures to prevent and combat energy poverty
The EESC would like to see an energy market more focused on consumers, particularly the most vulnerable. The EU should therefore define European energy poverty indicators, identify best practices and draw up recommendations in this sphere.
Establishing Sustainable Development Goals
The Committee encourages the EU to pursue the path of curbing financial speculation and to combat undeclared work and the devaluing of the work and dignity of workers.