533rd Plenary Session – Debate on the Digital Single Market and artificial intelligence, with Andrus Ansip, European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market, and a statement by Marcos Peña, president of the Spanish Economic and Social Council
In November 2017, the European Commission proposed an amendment to the Gas Directive (2009/73/EC) to ensure that gas pipelines from and to third countries are subject to the common rules of the internal gas market. The aim of this extension of the Gas Directive is to increase competition between gas suppliers and to boost energy security in the Energy Union.
Given the increasing dependency on gas imports, this amendment raises a number of political and economic questions in particular concerning its implications for current and future investments, regulatory burden for national authorities, and the autonomy of Member States in conducting external energy policy.
The objective of the hearing is to gather relevant views of experts and stakeholders that will help the EESC shape a comprehensive view of civil society on the Commission's proposal.
In November 2017, the European Commission released its third report on the State of the Energy Union. The Commission’s overall assessment of progress towards achieving the goals of the Energy Union is positive but it recognises that much still needs to be done. In particular, it promises 2018 to be a Year of Engagement, ensuring that citizens and civil society are mobilised and take full ownership of Europe’s energy transition. The EESC has previously highlighted a number of challenges in realising the Commission's vision of putting the citizen at the heart of the Energy Union and the progress made in this respect.
This public hearing therefore pursues two overarching goals, namely to hear how civil society organisations and experts assess the State of the Energy Union and to explore opportunities to improve economic and political ownership of the Energy Union by citizens and civil society.
The European Migration Forum – the dialogue platform on migration, asylum and migrant integration - met for the fourth time in March 2018.
Participation in the Forum meeting is by invitation only.
The deadline for submitting your expression of interest to participate in the European Migration Forum 2018 is over. We thank you for your interest. For any other information you may contact the Forum Secretariat at eu-migration-forumeesc [dot] europa [dot] eu.
The Civil Society Platform complements the political bodies existing within the framework of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement, and it allows civil society organisations from both sides to monitor the implementation process and prepare their recommendations to the relevant authorities both in the Republic of Moldova as well as in the European Union.
On 6 March 2018, the Various Interests Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), organised a conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, entitled 'Supporting Vulnerable Regions and Citizens: boosting sustainable growth and cohesion'. The event took place at the Boyana conference centre, which had been kindly made available to the EESC by the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The conference follows up the work already carried out by the EESC on the future of Europe and the resolution adopted by the Committee in July. Taking place in Athens on 1 and 2 March 2018, the conference will gather high-ranking figures from European political, institutional and cultural life, with young people playing a key role as real protagonists in the debates. The event will feature three sessions devoted to the future of democracy in Europe. You can follow the webstreaming here
With a view to gather expert input during the preparatory process for this opinion from a wide range of stakeholders - civil society organisations, think tanks, and EU institutions included - a hearing was organised at the EESC premises on the legislative proposal of the European Commission on the establishment of a framework for screening of foreign direct investments into the European Union. The proposal aims to enable the EU Member States and the Commission to screen foreign direct investment on the grounds of security or public order.
Public Hearing: How effective is EU legislation for SMEs in Sweden?
22 February 2018, Europahuset, Regeringsgatan 65, Stockholm, 9:30-13:00.
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 was to debate the effectiveness and efficiency of EU policies for SMEs and gather valuable input and feedback from Swedish stakeholders on the matter with a view to finding ways in which they can be improved. Particular emphasis was put on the recommendations that have been outlined in the EESC opinion with the aim of implementing them at national level.
The 2nd annual conference of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform took place on 20 and 21 February 2018. The first day was hosted by the Commission (DG GROW and DG ENV) in the Charlemagne building, the second day by the European Economic and Social Committee.