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Statement by the president of the EESC in response to the attack in Manchester

Together with my colleagues at the European Economic and Social Committee, we express our indignation at the attack perpetrated in Manchester yesterday night and convey the solidarity of the European civil society. Once again, children, women and men of all ages, who were attending a music concert, were attacked by an assassin in another blind act of terror.

Our thoughts go first and foremost to the victims and their families and we wish the injured a speedy recovery. These events affect us all but we are not afraid. Nobody can bring down a civil society as long as people have enough freedom and unity.


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  • 23 May 2017
    VAT- derogation - reverse charge Ongoing References: ECO/428 Referral - Rapporteur: Giuseppe GUERINI (Various interests - GR III / Italy)
  • 23 May 2017
    Erasmus+ mid-term evaluation Ongoing References: SOC/552 Referral Rapporteur: Vareikytė (Various interests - GR III / Lithuania) Co-rapporteur: Babrauskienė (Workers - GR II / Lithuania)

    The EESC has been asked by the European Commission to contribute to the EC's mid-term evaluation of the Erasmus+ programme. In this context, two questionnaires were widely disseminated by the EESC in the member states and four fact-finding missions have been organised. The EESC also held an expert hearing to collect the views of specialised civil society organisations. An information report has been drafted containing the results of this exercise, accompanied by a detailed technical appendix containing important data on the awareness and perception of the programme. The aim of this evaluation was to provide information to the EC on the experience of civil society organisations with the enlarged and improved programme.

    According to the information report it is necessary: to better disseminate information and to increase awareness within national political circles; to review the lump sum system and travel rates; to recognize the experiences acquired; to improve the participation of civil society at the programme management level; and to ensure that background, disability or geographical location are not obstacles to participation.

  • 23 May 2017
    Artificial intelligence Ongoing References: INT/806 Own-initiative Rapporteur: Ms Catelijne Muller (Workers - GR II / Netherlands)

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies offer great potential for creating new and innovative solutions to improve peoples lives, grow the economy, and address challenges in health and wellbeing, climate change, safety and security.

    Like any disruptive technology, however, AI carries risks and presents complex societal challenges in several areas such as labour, safety, privacy, ethics, skills and so on.

    A broad approach towards AI, covering all its effects (good and bad) on society as a whole, is crucial. Especially in a time where developments are accellerating.

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  • Issue Date: April 2017
    EESC info April 2017

    IN THIS ISSUE: Insolvency legislation should treat businesses as a social asset; Efficient, WTO-compatible and up-to-date TDIs are pivotal for the competitiveness of European industry; Digital Single Market: consumer protection must be top priority; Big data: how to minimise risks while maximising benefits for all


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