The Workers' Group organised an extraordinary meeting to discuss its political priorities and to take stock of the ongoing legislative and political work in the European institutions.
On 28 January 2016, the EESC's TEN Section project delegation conducted a study visit in Vilnius to discover some of the very inspiring smart city initiatives that have been implemented there.
Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is the country's administrative, cultural and economic centre. The city is home to major companies and key financial institutions and brings together strong business and academic potential in such high technology areas as biotechnology, laser technology, information technology and telecommunications, semi-conductor electronics and precision mechanics.
The delegation had the opportunity to make a technical visit to discover "M.parking", a mobile parking app for paying city parking fees and avoiding the hassle of finding a parking meter, and the "M.ticket" mobile ticketing system for purchasing public transport tickets, planning journeys and accessing live timetables.
The European Commission released in December 2015 the new version of the circular economy package. Its aim is to help the European economy move from linear to circular, more resource-efficient patterns, by ensuring that less resources are extracted from our natural environment and less waste is produced at the end of the product lifecycle. The package focuses on better design of products, improved waste management and recycling performance of EU Member States and the growth and job creation potential of the circular economy. It includes an Action Plan with a specific timeline up until 2017 on production aspects as well as a series of modifications to the waste legislation.
Representatives of the European and Georgian Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs), set up under the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Georgia, held their first joint meeting in Tbilisi on 26 January 2016. The participants expressed their commitment to fulfil the mandate foreseen in the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the Association Agreement, namely to monitor the implementation of the Chapter and to provide advice to the Parties to the Agreement.
With tens of millions of people already displaced, and 250 million to one billion people expected to be displaced by climate change by 2050, citizens and present and future policy makers need to be informed about the causes and consequences of climate migration. Both the United Nations and the recent Paris Agreement recognize the urgency of this problem and call for awareness and appropriate action. We young Europeans share this sense of urgency, and therefore we organize the conference 'The challenge of Climate Migration: a EU perspective'.
Wednesday 20 January at 3 p.m. - Debate on COP 21: taking stock and looking ahead
Thursday 21 January 2016 at 9.30 a.m. - Debate on The role of organised civil society in democratic transition processes: Tunisia, a case study,
with the Tunisian Quartet, winners of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize:
- Kacem Afaya, Deputy Secretary-General of the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT)
- Ahmed ben Tahar Galai, vice-president of the Tunisian League of Human Rights (LTDH)
- Slim Ghorbel, member of the board of the Tunisian Industrial, Commercial and Handicrafts Union (UTICA)
The conference aimed to highlight work undertaken by the EESC and the GO4 projects’ Consortiums and stimulate debate between representatives of the main stakeholder groups involved in research and innovation. The interplay between RRI and Commissioner Carlos Moedas’ key priorities of “Open Innovation, Open Science and Openness to the World”, has be addressed. RRI also has contributions to make to the current European Commission’s 10 high-level priorities (from a new boost for jobs, to democratic governance).
The Go4 projects were ready to present their findings, conceptual developments, concrete messages and policy recommendations to contribute to the development of evidence-based research policy in Europe and its member states. By highlighting current practice and factors that influence the success of RRI, the conference has provided insights into good practice that can be the basis of future policy.
Hearing in view of the preparation of the EESC opinion on the European Commission Communication "Trade for All – Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy"
On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in collaboration with the United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) organises the screening of the documentary "The disorder of the senses" ("El desorden de los sentidos") in its original Spanish version with English subtitles. The screening will take place on 14 December at 5.00 pm, in the EESC premises (JDE6th floor).
The screening will be followed by a debate with the participation of the protagonists, the film director and the producer, a UN representative and a member of the EESC's Permanent Study Group on Disability.