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The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) wants COP21 to be a major milestone to put the international community on the right track to limit global warming to a maximum of 2° C compared to preindustrial levels. It adopted its position on COP21 already in July 2015 with some key messages for decision makers:

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How do you boost reindustrialisation in Europe? How do you reach 20% of GDP from manufacturing by 2020? What are the regional challenges in terms of industrial policy? These were some of the questions raised during a conference – EU industrial policy: does a one-size-fits-all approach work? – held in Malta on 30 November 2015. The participants discussed how to tailor industrial policy to the needs of different EU Member States.


In the context of the work on the EESC opinion on the EU Urban Agenda requested by the Dutch Presidency, the EESC, on the initiative of rapporteur Mr Haken co-organised, together with the Municipality of Prague 14, a study visit to Prague on 1 December 2015.

The purpose of this visit was to gain first-hand insight on urban challenges and potential while experiencing two extremely different sides of Prague (a problem faced by so many other European cities requiring complex solutions). Following their visit to the city centre, the EESC members of the study group together with experts in urban planning and local stakeholders spent a day in Černý Most.


The fifth SME Assembly took place on 18-20 November in Luxembourg. This well-organised, high-level event brought together some 300 participants from across Europe. Amongst them were SME representatives, high-level EU officials, and representatives of NGOs, academia, media, etc.


Mr van Iersel, President of the ECO Section, attended the Informal Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Urban Matters which took place on 27 November 2015 in Luxembourg. Topics raised concerned the possible added-value of small and mediums-sized cities in cross-border regions, the progress towards the EU Urban Agenda, the urban challenges of the refugee situation and most importantly the Luxembourg Presidency Conclusions, a document which sums up the high-level representatives’ declared opinion on the aforementioned matters (see below). This meeting was an essential milestone towards the EU Urban Agenda, a brand new initiative which the EESC has requested for years.


​The European Economic and Social Committee has made working with young people one of its priorities.

Your Europe, Your Say! is one of the initiatives that the EESC has been organising for young people since 2010.

Three students from each of the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) and the five candidates countries for EU accession (Albania, Turkey, Montenegro, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), together with a teacher, are invited to Brussels to discuss migrants in Europe – the topic of Your Europe, Your Say! 2016.

They will have a chance to speak to policy-makers about better asylum rules and to make practical suggestions regarding integration that could be taken up in their own community.


Following the violent terrorist attacks which took place in Paris on Friday, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Committee of the Regions (COR) observed a minute of silence today to show solidarity with the victims and their families. The two institutions' Presidents, Georges Dassis of the EESC and Markku Markkula of the COR, addressed Members and staff. Mr Dassis gave a moving speech on compassion and human solidarity. In his words, "These despicable murderers obsessed with hatred, attack the people, democracy and fundamental values of the French Republic. In this way, they attack the people, our democracy and fundamental values in Europe because they are one in the same."