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Irregular immigration in the Mediterranean and built-in obsolescence top the agenda for the EESC's October plenary session

Following the tragic disaster in Lampedusa, the EESC is issuing an opinion on how to deal with irregular immigration in the Mediterranean through a global approach based on human rights, steps to open up legal channel for immigration, the integration of migrants, and solidarity.

The EESC wants a total ban on built-in obsolescence, which encourages companies to locate jobs offshore and is ultimately unsustainable.

 493rd EESC Plenary Session

16 and 17 October 2013

Charlemagne building (European Commission), De Gasperi room, Brussels

You can watch the plenary session live at:

The full agenda is available here.

Debates to be held at the plenary session:

In a bid to promote European Citizens' Initiatives (ECI), the EESC presents and debates one initiative at each of its plenary sessions. This time it will look at the initiative on High Quality European Education for All, which seeks to create a common educational model at primary and secondary level, leading eventually to a European Baccalaureate. The debate will feature Henri Malosse, the president of the EESC, Ana Gorey, the driving force behind the ECI, and Mihaela Staicu, a primary school teacher in Romania who is also a consultant for Freasyway, an on-line interactive education network (17 October – 11 a.m.).     

Key opinions to be discussed and voted on at the plenary session:

Irregular Immigration by Sea in the Euromed region

This is a very timely own-initiative opinion from the EESC about the need to establish a comprehensive European policy on irregular immigration, based on solidarity and human rights. Burden-sharing mechanisms need to be introduced and funds managed flexibly if the EU intends to react to disasters such as the Lampedusa shipwreck of 3 October 2013 with humanitarian and legal tools that really reflect European values.

The Committee will also issue an opinion on ways of creating a more inclusive, participatory and civic European citizenship open to immigrants.

Product lifetimes (obsolescence)

Many consumer products could have a longer service-life. However, some components seem to be designed to become obsolete so that the product is unusable after a certain period of time, or rely on the use of specific consumable items. The EESC would like to see a total ban on products with built-in defects designed to shorten their life, and it would like to make products easier to repair. Improving the quality and durability of manufactured products would create lasting jobs and services in Europe.

The Social Dimension of Economic and Monetary Union

The unprecedented economic and financial crisis has revealed a clear link between high unemployment rates, pressure on national budgets, social decline and social unrest. In its opinion, the EESC will call for a stronger social dimension of EMU based on three points: stronger monitoring of employment and social challenges; greater solidarity and action on employment and labour mobility; and an enhanced social dialogue.

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

The EU Digital Agenda seeks to deploy cross-border public online services to facilitate business and individual mobility. The EESC believes that broadband access for everyone is key to the development of the European economy and will be an essential element in the creation of new jobs.

Shaping international climate policy beyond 2020

The EESC believes that European engagement should be proactive, ambitious and realistic about what can be accomplished, in line with the EESC's opinion on the Low Carbon Economy Roadmap 2050, and adaptive to changes in the global environment.

EU strategy on adapting to climate change

Implementation of the new plan for adaptation must take account of the fact that higher temperatures in Europe and the possibility of an increased incidence of extreme phenomena may cause greater damage than initially thought to people, the economy and the environment.

Single Resolution Mechanism

The EESC welcomes the proposals to set up a Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM), which is an important building block in the development of a banking union, alongside the proposals for supervisory and stability mechanisms. This is a key policy element on the path towards financial recovery and growth.


CP 59 2013 EN immigration plenary