The aim of the conference is to reaffirm the important social and economic role of volunteering in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and to highlight that, in view of the growing societal challenges that the authorities of the EU Member States are often unable to meet, volunteers can play an effective part in achieving these goals by meeting social needs more rapidly and efficiently than public institutions. The role of volunteering should therefore be recognised and valued by all Commissioners under the policy of the new European Commission, and there should be long-term support for volunteers. There is a fairly widespread view that, following the end of the European Year of Volunteering, the issue had started to slowly fade from the European debate and, in general, was not visible among the initiatives of the European Commission, the Council or the European Parliament.
Bæredygtig udvikling - Related Events
The event aims to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the European Union in the post-2020 era. The discussions will focus on the programme of the new European Commission, which will be taking up office in just a few weeks' time. The speakers will also exchange views on a wide range of topical issues, such as the challenges posed by new technologies, Brexit, sustainable development and the development of Europe’s Green Deal. The event will be addressed by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Chris Fearne and by leading local business representatives and stakeholders in the European institutions.
As productivity continues to increase, providing highly-specialised and certified-quality products becomes ever more important for boosting economic well-being, more so than mass low-cost production. Moreover, the increasing focus on the integrated use-value of products and services now offsets the emphasis on the exchange value - the price.
This development is particularly advantageous for European producers: our competitiveness relies on our ability to provide diverse, specialised products, rather than on competing on price against regions with more extended economies of scale.
The conference highlighted the position taken by the EESC in its opinion on the Reflection Paper "Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030", which was due for adoption in September 2019. The event provided concrete and constructive recommendations to the new European Commission and the new European Parliament.
This public hearing will look at ways to implement the 17 SDGs by addressing social concerns in full synergy with environmental and economic ones, reducing social inequalities and more fairly distributing the burden of transformation towards a sustainable Europe.
The Civil Society Days 2019 will take place at a crucial moment for Europe, namely after the Sibiu Summit and the European elections and ahead of the constitution of the new European Parliament and European Commission.
Current pressures on our democratic systems are threatening fundamental values (respect for human rights, individual liberty, equality, the rule of law) and the civil society space within the European Union. The alarming consequence is an erosion of democracy and restricted civic space in several parts of the EU.
Against this backdrop and in consideration of the transformation processes the EU is facing, namely on economic, energy and ecological, social, and democratic and participatory level, this year's Civil Society Days will focus on two main pillars, Democracy and Sustainability, and will explore their links and interactions.
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.
The public hearing on "Towards a more resilient and sustainable European economy with a vision for completing EMU" to be held on Friday, 12 April 2019, starting at 11.30 a.m., will discuss from a wider civil society perspective the future of the European economy and the political initiatives and decisions that need to be taken during the upcoming legislative term and beyond. Taking into account the conclusions of the debate, the EESC will draw up two own-initiative opinions, entitled "Towards a more resilient and sustainable European economy" and "A new vision for completing the Economic and Monetary Union", to be forwarded to the new European Parliament and European Commission.
The European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee will host the 2019 European Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference on March 6 and 7 in Brussels.
Day 1, to be hosted by the Europan Commission, will explore the action plan as a successful framework for the transition, while discussing policies to capitalise on the current global momentum. It will also widen the discussion to consider the circular economy as an enabler to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Day 2 will be hosted by the EESC and is being prepared jointly with the Coordination Group members of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. This day will feature eight different participatory workshops, whose purpose is to share successes and identify new challenges.
In order to bring together the views of policymakers and organised civil society, at both EU and national level, the EESC is organising a high-level conference "Towards a more inclusive European Semester", to be held on Thursday, 28 February 2019, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The topics to be discussed will include the current state of the European economy, policy challenges within the European Semester process and the future of the semester.