• The adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 represents a turning point in the way the international community has decided to tackle global issues by bringing together economic, environmental and social dimensions in an integrated manner. The economy should be an enabler for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It is therefore time to reflect upon a possible transition to a new economic model, which allows both people and planet to thrive and prosper.

  • The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is organising a public hearing The European Semester and Cohesion policy – Towards a new European strategy post-2020 to be held on Tuesday, 11 June 2019, starting at 10.30 a.m, that will bring together policymakers, academics and organised civil society representatives, with a view to developing policy proposals which will help shape these stronger ties and improve sustainable growth. The results from the hearing will feed into both the ongoing EESC opinion on the same topic and future decisions by EU leaders in this field. With the Europe 2020 Strategy coming to an end, these proposals can contribute to the preparation of a new long-term European strategy, taking on board the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Right.

  • At its hearing on 11 June (10.00-13.00 in meeting room VMA3), the Study Group on the Inclusion of the Roma will be discussing the employment and recruitment situation for the Roma and the discriminatory practices they endure in this regard.

    The hearing will seek to discuss the existing forms of discrimination, their extent, as well as the effectiveness or otherwise of actions such as the public works' scheme in improving the Roma's situation in the labour market.  It will identify best practices undertaken in Member States and discuss recommendations to counter discrimination in employment and recruitment.

  • For the 13th time, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Montenegro held the Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC). The JCC is a civil society platform established between the EESC and Montenegrin civil society. It complements with a civil society point of view the EU institutional framework related to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Montenegro. 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 on the challenges ahead during the accession period.

    This 13th JCC was held in Podgorica and tackled issues such as:

    • The current state of play in EU-Montenegro relations and the accession process
    • Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    • Chapter 27 of the accession negotiations – Environment and climate change
    • Overview of the media and civil society in Montenegro

    A joint declaration was adopted at the meeting. The joint declaration will be distributed to all relevant EU institutions, as well as to the Montenegrin authorities.

  • This public debate, titled "Beyond GDP: Measuring people's well-being and societies' progress", with Ms Martine Durand, OECD Chief statistician and Co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress will be held on Tuesday, 4 June 2019, starting at 14.30 p.m. The aim of the debate is to explore the opportunities for the civil society to more actively support the development and implementation of socio-economic indicators alternative to GDP. The report of the HLEG, 'Beyond GDP: Measuring What Counts for Economic and Social Performance' will serve as a starting point for the discussion.


  • During the meeting, the EU DAG discussed with a representative of the European Commission the preparation for the meetings with Korea under the trade and sustainable development chapter. Preparations of the 7th meeting of the EU-Korea Civil Society Forum in Brussels were also discussed, along with the state of play of the government consultations.

  • A system of corporate liability for human rights abuses is currently being negotiated in the UN, within the UNHRC’s open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises concerning human rights (OEIGWG), established by the UN General Assembly on 26 June 2014. The mandate of the working group is to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.  While the EU and its Member States play a role at the OEIGWG, the Commission has no mandate from the Council to conduct negotiations on behalf of the EU concerning its participation in the OEIGWG.

    After three sessions dedicated to conducting constructive deliberations on the content, scope, nature, and form of the future international instrument', following the UNHRC mandate, on 16 July 2018, the Permanent Mission of Ecuador, on behalf of the Chairmanship of the OEIGWG, published a Zero Draft legally binding instrument and a draft optional protocol to be annexed to it. The fourth session of the OEIGWG, held from 15 to 19 October 2018, debated this draft and marked the start of formal negotiations. There was a significant civil society presence at the session.

    In this context, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is drafting an own-initiative opinion on A binding UN Treaty for Business and Human Rights. With a view to gathering knowledge during the preparatory works for the above-mentioned opinion from a wide range of experts and other civil society stakeholders a hearing is organised at the EESC premises.

  • In the framework of its own initiative opinion on "Blockchain and distributed ledger technology as an ideal infrastructure for Social Economy", the EESC organizes on 29 May 2019 a public hearing on "Blockchain: technology for the social economy 4.0".

    The objective of the hearing will be to give the floor to experts in the field, but also to present case studies aiming at showing how Social Economy can benefit from this new technology.


  • With a special attention to the 25th anniversary of the European Economic Area

    The meeting of the Section for External Relations will take place on 24 May 2019 in the room JDE 62. During this meeting, a special attention will be given to the 25th anniversary of the European Economic Area.

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    The 27th meeting of of the European Economic Area Consultative Committee took place in the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels (Belgium) on 23-24 May 2019.

    The members of the Committee discussed the latest developments in EEA and well as EU/EFTA issues. Special attention has been given to the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the EEA Agreement. The Consultative Committee adopted two resolutions on the following topics:

    • The European Labour Authority
    • Benefits of 25 years of the EEA Agreement for the EEA countries