The social economy is prominent in everyday life and in the productive activity of large regions of the world and makes a decisive contribution to improving the living and working conditions of millions of people. However, the social economy is not specifically recognised as a sector in the EU development cooperation programmes.One of the principal aims of the opinion is that the external dimension of the EU’s programmes and initiatives should establish support measures specifically targeted at boosting businesses and organisations in the social economy.
As part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties, the EESC, together with the Italian Council of Ministers and under the patronage of the Italian Parliament, is organising a conference on Sixty years of the European community — Let's shape the future, on 13 March 2017 at the Chamber of Deputies in Rome.
The aim of the conference is to facilitate a reflection on the future of the EU, particularly with regard to European civil society’s commitment to contribute to pursuing full European integration. This contribution, which has always characterised the EESC’s commitment over these 60 years, is all the more indispensable at a time when the EU must respond to the many crises with cohesive and unified policies.
With a view to taking stock of the Action Plan's implementation, looking at next steps and discussing the goals and practicalities of a European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, the EESC and the European Commission co-organised a conference which took place on 9-10 March in Brussels.
The second meeting of the EU Civil Society Domestic Advisory Group under the EU-Ukraine DCFTA took place on 8 March 2017 at the EESC premises. The meeting was chaired by Ms Isabelle Brose.
The European Migration Forum – the dialogue platform on migration, asylum and migrant integration - met for the third time in March 2017.
Participation in the Forum meeting is by invitation only
The severe economic crisis as well as the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals require the EU to move forward with its strategic thinking beyond Europe 2020. The EESC intends to launch the debate with an EESC opinion on a long-term strategy for a sustainable Europe. The hearing on 1 March with experts and stakeholders should provide input for the further elaboration of the EESC opinion.
On June 2016, the Commission and the European external Action service presented the Joint Communication 'Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations'. In it, three work streams are outlined:
- Supporting culture as an engine for sustainable social and economic development.
- Promoting Culture and intercultural dialogue for peaceful inter-community relations.
- Reinforcing cooperation of cultural heritage.
For the 4th time, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Serbia held the Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC). The JCC is a civil society platform established between the EESC and Serbian civil society. It complements the EU institutional framework related to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia, with a civil society point of view. This joint institution allows civil society organisations on both sides to monitor the country's accession negotiations. It is also a platform to discuss issues of common interest and to inform the public at large of the challenges ahead during the accession period.
On 28 February 2017, the Labour Market Observatory (LMO) organised a public event on the topic of long-term unemployment, including aspects related to Roma and persons with disabilities. We discussed about the current state of play, further initiatives and good practices examples in this field, as well as about our Observatory's project to assess the implementation of the 2016 Council recommendation on long-term unemployed by Member States.
523rd Plenary Session
Thursday 23 February 2017: General debate on the Future of the EESC.