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Hearing in the framework of the EESC opinion

As the world’s largest exporter and importer of foreign direct investment, it is of paramount importance for the EU to ensure that the resolution of investment disputes operates effectively on an international level. Many countries are currently engaged in internal reflections regarding their policies on investment protection and investment dispute settlement. The EESC aims therefore to make a timely contribution to this ongoing and highly interesting debate.

At the request of the European Commission, the EESC is currently drafting an own-initiative opinion on a possible future multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes. The European Commission proposes for this court to become a permanent body to decide investment disputes, under the auspices of the United Nations Commission on International Trade law (UNCITRAL).

Extraordinary Group III meeting

On 15 February 2018 afternoon Group III held an extraordinary meeting for the presentation of a study promoted in cooperation with the Liaison Group on The future evolution of civil society in the European Union by 2030.


532nd Plenary Session of the EESC, with a debate in the future of Europe with Nathalie LOISEAU, French Minister for European Affairs.

14/02/2018 15/02/2018

The EESC Permanent Study Group on Disability Rights is organising a public hearing on "Women with disabilities in the EU: situation and way forward". The aim of the event is to look into the situation of women with disabilities in the EU and propose some recommendations to improve it. In the first part we will set the scene and background while in the second part we will listen to some inspiring testimonies and good practices.
Your presence and input are most welcome!


The hearing is part of the EESC follow-up work related to its opinion on Improving the effectiveness of EU policies for SMEs, adopted in July 2017.

The main objective of the hearing is to debate the effectiveness and efficiency of EU policies for SMEs and gather valuable input and feedback from Italian stakeholders on the matter with a view to finding ways in which they can be improved. Particular emphasis will be put on the recommendations that have been outlined in the EESC opinion with the aim of implementing them at national level.


Joint EESC – Cedefop event. The aim of this event is to bring together countries and relevant stakeholders to help each other in the definition and implementation of measures to improve literacy, numeracy and digital competences of adults with low level of skills, in line with the 2016 Council recommendation ‘Upskilling pathways: new opportunities for adults’. Participation to this forum is on invitation.

07/02/2018 08/02/2018

The Social Economy Enterprise (SEE) model offers a framework for mobilising and enhancing newcomers' skills. SEEs facilitate the settlement and integration process for immigrants by providing them with employment or training and helping them with practical settlement support. Although they operate in different ways in different national contexts, Social Economy Enterprises have managed to define common principles of action – inclusive, subsidiary protection of the most disadvantaged people – taking a proactive approach to receiving migrants. In this way they have mobilised the relevant communities, activated networks and partnerships, and cooperated with central and local administrations to organise reception and integration processes.


Hearing in the framework of the EESC opinion (REX/497)

At the request of the current Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU, the EESC was asked to prepare an exploratory opinion on the challenges and priorities that countries of the Western Balkans are facing in the European integration process, as well as in the area of economic and social cohesion. Western Balkans will be one of the policy priorities of the Bulgarian presidency and a Western Balkans Summit is scheduled to take place in May 2018 in Sofia. Following the recent economic crises in Europe, the forecasts for economic growth in the Western Balkans are now good, although progress on reform has been slow, the rule of law has been weak, and corruption is persistent.


Following up on the vision set out in the Five Presidents' Report and the Reflection Papers on the Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the Future of EU Finances, the European Commission has recently put forward a package of seven communications and legislative proposals, providing for a series of concrete measures to be taken over the next 18 months to continue the process of deepening EMU. In this regard, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) believes that strengthening the architecture of EMU is indeed the only means we have to achieve higher investment and job creation, sustained economic growth, social fairness, better resilience to economic shocks and overall macroeconomic stability in Europe, and that in the coming months there is a window of opportunity to make further progress in this field.