Civil society organisations (CSOs) play an important role in fostering participatory democracy and active citizenship in Europe and beyond; EU funding is paramount to support this work. The goal of this EESC hearing is to present working solutions and come up with recommendations for revised financial regulations and the future Multiannual Financial Framework after 2020 that would enable better civil dialogue and easier and transparent access to resources.
The hearing aimed to identify how trade and investment policies can contribute to the achievement of SDGs. The main questions which were discussed during the debate included: can trade and sustainable development be mutually reinforcing? Are there SDGs, which are particularly dependent on the existence on an open, rule-based, equitable multilateral trade system? What should be the role of private sector in achieving SDGs through trade and investment policies? Can civil society be instrumental in achieving SDGs through trade policy? How can ''Aid for trade'' be an efficient tool for achieving SDGs?
In the framework of the Estonian EU Presidency, the EESC is hosting an exhibition of pictures by photographers Aivar Pihelgas, Jaanus Ree, Ilmārs Znotinš, Jelena Rudi, Sven Začek and Rene Mitt, featuring scenes from one of the biggest amateur choral events in the world, involving thousands of choir singers and dancers dressed in colourful national garments.
The EU-Turkey Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee was established in 1995, based on the mandate given by the Ankara Agreement. This body is composed of members from the EESC and members representing organised civil society in Turkey. Its objective is to contribute to the dialogue among civil society organisations in Turkey and the EU and to issue reports and recommendations to the Turkish authorities and the EU institutions.
The following topics were discussed at this JCC meeting: the state of play of the EU-Turkey relations and the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement; the state of the economy in Turkey and the EU-Turkey economic developments; social issues including employment and women rights in Turkey.
The meeting was conclude with the adoption of a joint declaration.
The European Economic and Social Committee is organising a public hearing on the European Solidarity Corps and the Youth Initiative in the context of the EESC opinion SOC/566 on both initiatives.
The EESC side-event at the UN High-level Political Forum session this year in New York will look into the broader experiences with civil society involvement in the EU and other world regions and will try to define enabling conditions for a strong and active role of stakeholders.
During the meeting, members of the GCI were informed by the President on the civil society meeting of EuroLat's standing parliamentary committees (22-24 May), the hearing in the Walloon Parliament concerning the current state of The EU-Colombia, Peru and the FTA of Ecuador, as well as the public with DG Trade on the current status of the Advisory Groups. They were then interviewed by the European Commission on the preparation of the 2017 Civil Society Forum and the process of Ecuador's accession to the agreement.
After the entry of force of CETA, Commissioner Malmstrom said she intends to "immediately open a broad debate based on thorough consultation of all stakeholders including EU Member States, Members of the European Parliament, Members of the European Economic and Social Committee and civil society". In this context, the European Commission asked the EESC to organise a discussion on a position paper, which was prepared by the European Commission on the assessment and possible options for improvement of the functioning of the TSD chapters, which focused on substantive provisions, institutional mechanisms, civil society participation and dispute settlement. The event was organised in the framework of this position paper.
The EESC organised its Sixth Western Balkans Civil Society Forum in Sarajevo on 10-11 July 2017.
The main topics on the agenda were the role of civil society organisations in promoting sustainable growth and employment, migration in the Western Balkans, freedom of expression and media, as well as rights and empowerment of women.
It brought together a broad range of civil society representatives from the EU and the Western Balkans, as well as representatives of EU institutions, international organisations and governments of the region.
527th Plenary Session including the following events:
Discussion with Michel Barnier, chief negotiator for the negotiations with the United Kingdom
Debate with Matti Maasikas, Deputy Minister for EU Affairs