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Not since the late 1970s, when Europe adopted the so-called “Davignon rescue plan” for its steel, have we witnessed a more serious crisis in the European steel sector. This time it is caused by illegal foreign trade practices. Today, once again, European mills are idled. Plant continue to be shut down, the most recent case being in the UK. European workers are laid off. The EU has seen a 120% surge in Chinese imports since 2013, with 7 000 steelworkers having lost their jobs across Europe since autumn 2015.


TTIP, labour, migration and energy were the main topics discussed during the Extraordinary Bureau Meeting of the Employers' Group which took place on 6 and 7 June in The Hague. The Members of the Bureau had the opportunity to exchange views with representatives of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER), VNO-NCW, The Hague Security Delta, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, Deltares, Airborne and CEEMET.


"The European Economic and Social Committee considers that the participation of Roma at all stages of decision-making is essential for achieving effective policies that can make a real difference to their situation within the EU. However, the tools available today are not sufficient in this regard"


The functional economy and how it works in practice was discussed at a public hearing, organised on the 8th June by the European Economic and Social Committee. The focus is on the function of the product rather than on the product itself - the functional economy considers how the product can be used most efficiently. "The concept of the functional economy has to be well-defined. We also have to explore the effect it will have on the creation of jobs and the advantages of a long lasting product which can be used by more than one consumer", said the EESC Rapporteur Thierry Libaert in his opening speech.


"Many examples have shown that pressure on suppliers or intense competition between them can lead to situations where workers work in dangerous conditions without decent employment contracts or social security or for very low wages and without real opportunities to join or form unions to defend their rights,"


On 7 June 2016, in Warsaw, Mr Baráth participated as a speaker in a conference on "Achieving Good Living Environment: Territory Matters. What's beyond 2030 for Macro-Regions?" organised by VASAB, an intergovernmental multilateral co-operation of 11 Baltic Sea Region countries in spatial planning and development, in order to bring a regional input into the implementation of European territorial cohesion objective.




Representatives from European civil society organisations and networks, members of the EESC and European institutions gathered in Brussels on 31 May and 1 June for the annual Civil Society Days, hosted by the EESC. The main focus of the discussions over the 2-day event was migration and the challenges and changes that this presents to our European society to make the most of it.