Press releases

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    On 1 July the EESC organised the First European Day of social economy enterprises (SSEs) under the title From words to action! This participatory event brought together some 120 social economy players and the EESC's institutional partners to take stock of the current situation, generate synergies and explore what measures still need to be taken to build an adequate ecosystem for social economy enterprises and fully unleash the potential of the sector.

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    Refugees have been the focus of news and debate in Europe over the last year, with the number of asylum applicants reaching 1.3 million in 2015. Their ever increasing flows, the heated debates and the powerful tensions that this influx has generated in Europe make it more important than ever to mark World Refugee Day, to commemorate the many refugees who have lost their lives while seeking safety and to reflect on how best to respond to a trend which, as studies show, is likely to continue.

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    The 1st and inaugural meeting of the EU-Georgia Civil Society Platform (CSP) was held on 16th June 2016 in Tbilisi and was co-chaired by Andrzej Adamczyk, member of the EESC, and Kakha Gogolashvili, chairman of the Georgian National Platform at the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. The participants in the first CSP meeting adopted a joint declaration, assessing the state of play of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement's implementation and acknowledging the considerable progress achieved by Georgia since the beginning of the Association process. Nevertheless, they called ...

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    This Friday 10 June, the President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Georges Dassis, will go to the Élysée Palace, where he will be received by the French President. Along with nine other signatories, he will promote the Appeal of 9 May for a European renaissance, and is counting on France to lead efforts to relaunch the European project. With six initiatives to counteract not just the "economic and political, but also moral and cultural marginalisation of Europe" – ranging from European civic education and an "Erasmus secondary school" to the EU's internal security – the appeal urges the "EU institutions and all Member States" to start working on fulfilling the promises set out in this roadmap ...

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    "As a defender of workers’ rights, including their right to a safe mobility and to continuous information, I am pleased to see the emergence of a European project aimed at tracking pension rights across Europe. In my view, seeking a truly European solution instead of applying a pre-existing system on a European scale is a sensible choice," said the President of the European Economic and Social Committee George Dassis at a conference organised jointly by the TTYPE (Track and Trace Your Pension in Europe) Consortium and the EESC. "Since the European Tracking Service would serve public purposes (informing citizens on their pension rights and removing obstacles to intra-European mobility), as well as private purposes (helping institutions for retirement provision to better inform their members), I believe that it should at least be co-financed by the Commission."

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    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.

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    Civil society’s voice will be heard when EU Ministers responsible for urban matters meet in Amsterdam on 30 May 2016 to adopt the new EU Urban Agenda.

    The EU Urban Agenda aims to establish a new form of multi-level cooperation between Member States, Regions, representatives of Urban Authorities, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the EU's Advisory bodies (the EESC and the COR), the EIB and other relevant actors in order to strengthen the urban dimension of EU policy. Designed to stimulate innovation and growth, the agenda will directly influence the lives of the 80% of EU citizens forecast to be settled in towns and cities by 2050.

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    Georges Dassis, president of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), received his counterpart, Patrick Bernasconi, president of the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council (ESEC). Mr Bernasconi gave a speech entitled “The Economic and Social Councils and the expectations of European civil society” and took part in the discussions of EESC members on this issue of crucial importance for European citizens and those who represent their organisations at all levels.

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    The EESC calls for new EU-ACP partnership that puts civil society in the driving seat. During its Plenary session today, the EESC put forward recommendations on how EU trade, aid and development mechanisms should be reshaped to be more effective in dealing with current and future challenges in relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. These recommendations will influence the new framework that will replace the current Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), signed by 79 ACP countries and the EU and due to expire in February 2020. Despite some ...


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    Improving the management of the EU's external border is no longer just an aim, it is an emergency, according to an EESC opinion adopted today. But this should not be done at the detriment of fundamental human rights, notably the right to asylum and the right to free movement in the EU.

    The Committee, while calling for a strengthened mandate for the Frontex agency, does not support the European Commission's proposal to establish systematic checks on EU citizens at the external borders of the European Union, as this would dramatically affect the fundamental right to free movement. Instead, the EESC proposes to reinforce and consolidate the Schengen rules by applying them uniformly across all Member States and by jointly (EU and Member States) managing the external borders.