The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
Christian Moos – Member of the EESC GR III / Germany
Timo Szczepanska, Arctic University of Tromso, Norway
Bartosz Kramek, Foundation's Council of the Open Dialogue Foundation, Poland
16.30 – 17.30h - Intervention from a South-Korean delegation of CSOs on civic activism
Speaking about democracy, the global trends over the past few years could easily be described as the rise of authoritarianism. However, with what many writers and historians refer to as “qualified optimism”, we are witnessing growing democratic resilience, expressed either by institutions which resist their collapse or, more generally, by resilient citizens who spontaneously form active groups and movements.
Although their achievements might seem small in comparison with the spread of “illiberal regimes”, they have an outstanding record of initiatives that have pushed back authoritarian tendencies. From the very local level to the transnational one, these groups have managed to oppose the dangerous shift towards the authoritarian way of governing and to come up with sustainable collective solutions, reappropriating civic space and contributing to the rebuilding of trust.
Behind the single governance method, the questioning of democracy has gone hand in hand with a strong resurgence of hate and exclusion-based “values”, which threaten the collective well-being and fuel tensions between different parts of the population.
How can civil society, civic actors and active citizens reclaim democratic values and stop the erosion of democratic checks and balances?
The wave of authoritarianism: who is responsible?
The workshop will aim to present various successful and positive initiatives that have mitigated the rise of authoritarianism. The audience will be invited to speak and feed into the discussion using the fishbowl method, and to put questions to the panellists.