Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has proved to be an endurance test for human and social rights, democratic values, the rule of law and economic resilience in the EU. While navigating stormy waters, organised civil society is playing a key role in coping with the countless pandemic-related challenges at European, national, regional and local level.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) played a central role in bringing the consensual views of organised civil society in the EU to the attention of policy-makers and contributing to the rapidly evolving economic policy response at European level.
In this regard, we believe that now is the time for the EU institutions to make decisive steps in approving swiftly the new Facility and putting in place the necessary implementation mechanisms at European and national level, so that the hardest hit Member States, citizens and businesses can benefit from the relevant EU funding when they need it most.
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 EESC is organising a public hearing in the context of preparing an opinion on European philanthropy at the request of the Romanian Presidency. The hearing will focus on the following questions:
- Which measures and initiatives should be taken at EU and national level to promote organised philanthropy?
- How can the EU eliminate barriers within the internal market that are hindering the realisation of philanthropy's full potential?
- How can philanthropy contribute to EU values, such as cohesion, social justice and European Policies, and to the competitiveness of the European economy?
The results of the hearing will feed into the EESC’s work on the opinion.
Your presence is most welcome!
The European Economic and Social Committee is organising a public hearing on the Next EU youth strategy in the context of the EESC opinion SOC/589.
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.
The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) has been the main framework for relations between the continents of Europe and Africa since 2007. Its goal is to develop a shared vision of the main global issues whilst simultaneously strengthening cooperation in a broad range of areas such as development, governance, human rights, trade, regional integration, food security and migration. To this end, meetings of EU-African economic and social stakeholders are held on a regular basis.
The event will focus on the role of civil society in preventing radicalisation of young people. The debates will serve to clarify how EU policy-makers can help civil society practitioners to successfully prevent radicalisation. The first panel will cover different elements of anti-radicalisation policy, focusing on what is needed to increase success rates. The second panel will focus on the role of education in preventing radicalisation. Participants will share their view on what can be done to render more effective existing civil society initiatives aiming to prevent radicalisation.
The European Economic and Social Committee is organising a public hearing on the European Solidarity Corps and the Youth Initiative in the context of the EESC opinion SOC/566 on both initiatives.
The Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC) meeting, devoted to youth, education and training, will be marked by the participation of DG Education and Culture Director General Martine Reicherts. Specific debates will be held on Education and Training 2020 Joint Report and EU Youth Report 2015.