Roma community: a European issue? EESC plenary session - 26-27 February

20 Feb 2014
Ref: 09/2014

At its upcoming plenary session in the Charlemagne building (Brussels), the European Economic and Social Committee will debate the new strategies for Roma inclusion in Europe with the special presence of Zoltán Balog, Hungarian Minister of Human Resources.

The EESC has also invited former European Commissioner, Anna Diamantopoulou, to this plenary session. She will present the European citizens' initiative "Education for all".

You can watch the plenary session live at: http://www.eesc.europa.eu

The full agenda is available here.

Opinions to be discussed and put to the vote during the plenary session include:

Quality Framework for Traineeships

Traineeships have become an important gateway through which young people enter the labour market. But this also brings risks. The EESC stresses that traineeships must offer good quality learning content and adequate working conditions and are no substitute for regular jobs.

Opening up education

The European Commission launched the initiative "Opening up Education" to tackle problems which are preventing schools and universities from delivering high-quality education and digital skills. By 2020, ninety percent of jobs will require digital skills that have yet to be included in many parts of the education system. According to the EESC, much more should be done. Teachers need to be appropriately involved. Available EU and national funding programmes need to be used efficiently.

The role and future of the liberal professions in European civil society 2020

The public interest is integral to the liberal professions. Medical practitioners, legal and tax advisers, architects and engineers: these professions are all directly related to fundamental rights. In order to better promote and protect them, the EESC calls for a common EU-wide definition of "liberal profession" and for regulations which are compatible with Europe's fundamental freedoms.

Towards more balanced territorial development in the EU

With the appropriate policies, rural areas can thrive and contribute just as much as cities to the well-being of Europe. The EESC pleads for more balanced development so that all parts of the EU can contribute to the objective of territorial cohesion, against a background of increasing territorial imbalances within countries and regions.

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