The EESC hosted the presentation of the study "Integrating the European Pillar of Social Rights into the roadmap for deepening Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union" on Thursday 4 July 2019, in meeting room VM3 in the VMA building. This study on behalf of the Workers’ Group of the European Economic and Social Committee explores the possibility of establishing three policy instruments to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) and rebalance the economic and social dimensions of the E(M)U.
Grundrechte und Bürgerrechte - Related Events
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.
The year 2019 marks a new step in the life of the European Citizens' Initiative. In March, the European Parliament voted on the final text of the new ECI Regulation, which proposes a series of administrative simplifications and procedural changes to make this tool more citizen-friendly and less burdensome for the organisers. ECI Day 2019 was the first to present you with the final text of the new Regulation and explored further how it was intended to benefit active citizens wishing to influence the EU's agenda. This year, the theme of the conference was Digital Voices, reflecting the ongoing changes in the global trends in voting and citizens' active participation. Digital natives no longer wait for elections to express their preferences; they voice their concerns at all times and at every opportunity. The ECI Day explored these new digital trends in the particular context of the European elections.
In November 2017, the EU institutions announced that the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) would be an important tool for promoting upwards convergence, in both economic and social terms. The EESC is now starting to evaluate the implementation of this initiative.
To kick off this process, a public hearing will be held in the afternoon of Thursday 28 March at the EESC, to assess the legislative and non-legislative measures taken, identify gaps and propose new measures, including in the context of the European Semester.
At its hearing of the 13 March, the Study Group on the Inclusion of the Roma will be discussing the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) and how this can translate into a benefit for the Roma community.
The hearing will give a general overview of what the EPSR envisages for education, employment, housing and healthcare. It will then look at the possibilities and opportunities that the principles of the Pillar can bring to alter the situation of the Roma. The hearing will feature as discussion on the real consideration that the Pillar gives to the Roma and suggest ways through which the Roma can be integrated in the Pillar.
This opinion aims at promoting the value of strong civil society organisations as automatic stabilisers in our democratic systems, which are facing challenges from the rise of populist and extremist movements, distrust of the free press, authoritarian tendencies, and xenophobia. Democratic civil society organisations therefore need to be supported at all levels - local, regional, national and European.
On the 29th October, the Group on the Inclusion of the Roma will be looking at the Roma's current health situation and their access to healthcare. Issues such as discrimination in access to health care, differences in life expectancy between Roma and non-Roma, as well as poverty and its effects on the Roma's health situation will be discussed. The hearing will also look into the situation in women's and children's health, with a particular emphasis on forced sterilizations, pregnancy and infant mortality, as well as vaccination amongst children. It will also feature a discussion on the solutions offered by the state in the light of health issues brought about by poverty, as well as recommendations on the way forward.
Demokratie unter Druck: Gewerkschaftliche Strategien gegen Rechtspopulismus und Nationalismus
Following the new European Commission proposal of September 2017, the European citizens' initiative has new wind in its sails. It now faces a lot of changes, many of which may greatly simplify administrative and organizational burdens. These changes will soon be discussed in the three-way consultations between the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council.
The ECI DAY 2018 will seize the moment and offer a first-hand insight into the positions of the three legislators, represented respectively by the First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, the European Parliament general rapporteur György Schöpflin and the 2018 Council Presidency ministers / state secretaries from Bulgaria and Austria.
Roma still remain the most underrepresented group on the labour market, with high numbers of unemployment. Due to the combination of various factors, such as poverty and deprivation, low levels of education and skills and discrimination in both education and employment, there are still serious structural barriers for Roma. Therefore they do not benefit from mainstream or targeted measures/initiatives. The Roma Platform is a high-level event that will provide an opportunity to discuss education and employment for Roma.