For the current mandate (October 2020 to April 2023) of the Civil Society Organisations’ Group (Group III), it has been decided to concentrate on the topic of poverty and on the role of civil society organisations and citizens' initiatives in combating it. The objective of the work programme of Group III for this period is to contribute to making local communities more sustainable, resilient, equitable, productive and socially just, whilst also upholding the highest levels of democratic governance, respect for rights and the rule of law. European civil society and the EESC in particular, have a key role to play in this process. "Leaving nobody behind" and "changing by design and not in reaction to" circumstances, as the President of the European Commission urged in her 2020 State of the Union speech. The Group III commissioned study on The response of civil society organisations to face the COVID 19 pandemic and the consequent restrictive measures adopted in Europe published in January 2021, constituted the starting point for the Group's work programme for this mandate.