Press releases

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    Joint EESC-UNEP Press Release

    The first step is done – in September 2015 heads of governments and states agreed on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as pathway toward more inclusive, prosperous and sustainable societies. This marks an evolution in both the maturity and ambition of the international community in pushing forward new models of greener and more inclusive prosperity for all. Now is the time to translate the 17 Sustainable Development goals into common and individual public policies all over the world.

    The Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the United Nations Environment Programme will work together in order to ensure that civil society is fully involved into the SDG's implementation.

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    2nd meeting of the EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network adopts joint resolution

    An approach based on full cooperation with African countries and respect for human rights in tackling the refugee flows into the EU has the full support of civil society from both continents. However, it is necessary to act now: "An action plan is not enough, it is important to equip it with the necessary funding and improve coordination and cooperation". These were the main messages of the 2nd meeting of the EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network in Brussels, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee on 27-28 October.


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    The newly elected President of the EESC, Georges Dassis, today met with the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans. Mr Dassis presented to him the EESC's recommendations for the Commission's 2016 annual Work Programme. Among others, these included accelerated economic integration and convergence, strengthening democracy in the EU, reinforcing the European social model, and establishing a new migration policy.

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    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted its opinion on the EU strategy for the Alpine Region at its plenary session on 8 October 2015.

    The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) concerns an area lying across five EU Member States (Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia) and two non-EU countries (Liechtenstein and Switzerland). This is an area of higher economic development, environmental sustainability and social cohesion than the EU average, but it also faces major common challenges, such as an aging population, climate change, energy issues and the disadvantages of its geographical position.

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    Elected with an overwhelming majority, Georges Dassis is the 31st president of the European Economic and Social Committee, an institution that he will head with two vice-presidents, Michael Smyth (budget) and Gonçalo Lobo Xavier (communication) from 2015 to 2018.

    "This mandate will be useful to the people of Europe, and will be devoted entirely to them. We intend to mobilise all the forces of civil society to make the European Union attractive and more present in the daily lives of Europeans. First, there is a need to alleviate extreme poverty and invest in youth employment, infrastructure projects, research and innovation, something that needs to be done on a massive scale. Europe must not be equated with a race to the bottom, but to the top. It must improve life for all citizens in the north, south, east and west: this is what we mean by harmonising progress", said Georges Dassis.

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    The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is an essential EU policy and any changes need to strongly support the European model of agriculture and family farming. A reshaped CAP must support farm incomes, deal with market volatility and preserve European agricultural production, also in light of any new trade deals. The income inequality both between rural and urban areas and within the agricultural sector itself should be overcome. The future CAP must also deliver on Europe's international ...

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    The president of the European Parliament (EP) Antonio Tajani joined the EESC plenary session on Thursday 1 June to discuss the EP's priorities and the strengthening of cooperation between the two institutions. The EP's six priorities for this year are very much in line with the concerns of Europe's civil society, according to the EESC. They include: giving a new boost to jobs, growth and investment; addressing the social dimension of the European Union; better protecting the security of EU citizens; reforming and developing migration policy in...

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    The EU needs a concrete plan to champion culture as a vital element in open, tolerant societies, according to Europe’s leading organised civil society body. The 350-member EESC held a debate with Culture Commissioner Tibor Navracsics and voted through its opinion on the EU’s recent strategy for international cultural relations on Wednesday at its May plenary in Brussels. Culture has an enormous untapped potential for becoming a unifying and mobilising instrument in Europe. At a time when extremism is increasing, when our citizens are questioning their common identity more than ever, declared the rapporteur Luca Jahier,  "now is the moment to...

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    EESC conference highlights the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) great potential for business, environment and citizens

    The EU needs to do more. It has to grab the unique chance of implementing the SDGs and transform the challenges into opportunities for businesses and industry, agriculture and food production, helping to fight climate change and becoming a more equal society.

    This is the bottom line of a two-day conference on The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A new frontier of rights and progress for the EU held in Brussels ...

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    The 4th meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform (CSP) in Brussels held a debate to assess the progress in the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The discussions focused on environmental protection, media freedom and the first year of the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement ...