President Oliver Röpke participated in this year's Porto Social Forum, alongside Portugese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, European Parliament's Vice-President Pedro Silva Pereira and Portuguese Minister of Labour, Ana Mendes Godinho.
On 25 May President Röpke participated in the Committee of the Regions' Plenary sitting, where he presented the political priorities for his mandate and discussed synergies in the work of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
As the European Economic and Social Committee marks the 65th anniversary of its first plenary meeting, it is a moment to reflect on where the Committee came from and where it is headed.
The watchdogs of EU democracy will have to be "much louder in the future" if they hope to see off a mounting threat from homegrown populists and autocrats who are chipping away at Europe's founding commitments to free speech and the rule of law, a top EU official has warned. "We have to make sure, wherever democracy is under threat, [where there is] shrinking space of civil society, then we have to raise our voices," Oliver Röpke, the newly elected president of the European Economic and Social Committee, an advisory body within the European Union, told FRANCE 24.
In an exploratory opinion on the 30th anniversary of the single market, the EESC has backed the Commission's idea of an EU fund pooling resources to invest in key green tech projects, rather than relaxing competition rules.
The EESC president
War on European soil, post-pandemic recovery, democratic values under increasing pressure on both sides of the EU’s borders: these seismic shifts have left no doubt that civil society organisations are more important than ever - for both social cohesion and democracy in Europe. A strong, independent and diverse civil society is a key ingredient in ensuring a resilient democracy, able to safeguard both our fundamental rights and the integrity of our democratic way of life.
Water is a vital but an increasingly scarce resource. As the global population grows, so does the demand for water. The problem is global, but also concerns our continent: in summer 2022 Europe saw the most severe droughts in 500 years. Almost two thirds of European citizens consider water quality and/or quantity in their country to be a serious problem. Climate change will further affect the availability, quality and quantity of water. …
Opinions in the spotlight
The EESC proposes to launch a European Care Guarantee, which would ensure life-long access to affordable quality healthcare and care services for everyone living in the EU. It also underlines the importance of supporting families in their fundamental role as caregivers and asks for adopting specific measures to tackle Gender equality, namely addressing gender stereotypes, attracting more men in the sector and ensure better distribution of care within households.