The severe economic crisis as well as the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals require the EU to move forward with its strategic thinking beyond Europe 2020. The EESC intends to launch the debate with an EESC opinion on a long-term strategy for a sustainable Europe. The hearing on 1 March with experts and stakeholders should provide input for the further elaboration of the EESC opinion.
On June 2016, the Commission and the European external Action service presented the Joint Communication 'Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations'. In it, three work streams are outlined:
- Supporting culture as an engine for sustainable social and economic development.
- Promoting Culture and intercultural dialogue for peaceful inter-community relations.
- Reinforcing cooperation of cultural heritage.
For the 4th time, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Serbia held the Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC). The JCC is a civil society platform established between the EESC and Serbian civil society. It complements the EU institutional framework related to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia, with a civil society point of view. This joint institution allows civil society organisations on both sides to monitor the country's accession negotiations. It is also a platform to discuss issues of common interest and to inform the public at large of the challenges ahead during the accession period.
On 28 February 2017, the Labour Market Observatory (LMO) organised a public event on the topic of long-term unemployment, including aspects related to Roma and persons with disabilities. We discussed about the current state of play, further initiatives and good practices examples in this field, as well as about our Observatory's project to assess the implementation of the 2016 Council recommendation on long-term unemployed by Member States.
523rd Plenary Session
Thursday 23 February 2017: General debate on the Future of the EESC.
During the 5th EU-Korea Civil Society Forum (CSF), participants will discuss labour standards with the ILO representative, including progress achieved by both Parties to the Agreement as well as the next steps in the ratification and effective implementation of the ILO fundamental and other up-to-date conventions. Both DAGs also will exchange information about the role of civil society in the EU and the Republic of Korea in the development and implementation of the climate change policy at national, EU and international level. They then will adopt final conclusions.
The 2nd meeting of the EU-Georgia Civil Society Platform (CSP) will be held on 16 February 2017 at the EESC. The CSP complements the political bodies existing within the framework of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, and it allows civil society organisations from both sides to monitor the implementation process and prepare recommendations to the relevant authorities both in Georgia as well as in the European Union.
The CSP is made up of nine members from both Parties, representing the EESC and large European civil society networks, on the one side, and civil society organisations from Georgia, on the other side.
Triggering radical change in the way we buy, exchange or even value goods and services, the collaborative economy, the functional economy and the circular economy have had a considerable impact on businesses, consumers and workers. In its 2016 opinions on all three economic models, the EESC has recognised both the potential of these new models for Europe's sustainability as well as the uncharted legal territory they bring with them. Taking our work to the next level, we have joined forces with the Global Hub for the Common Good, to enrich the European debate with input from communities directly involved in these new economies.
The Workers' Group organised an extraordinary meeting to discuss its strategy and priorities in view of the unfolding political and institutional developments that will shape the year 2017.
The EESC hearing on 14 February 2017 was an opportunity for all people who were interested in rural issues to meet, present work in progress and exchange ideas and knowledge – and get inspired by examples of successful projects and initiatives in other rural communities. Together we thought of better ways to empower the rural communities to play their full part in addressing vital policy areas such as food security, renewable energy, environmental protection and job creation.