The 8th meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform took place on 3 December 2019 in Brussels. During the meeting, a debate was held assessing the state of play of the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. And two reports, prepared by both sides, one on the Integration of Ukraine into the European Union's Digital Single Market and the second one on Transport component of the Association Agreement, were discussed.
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.
During it's meeting on 29 November 2019, the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is organising a public debate "The Benefits of Gender Equality for the European Economy" with the aim to explore how policies aimed at achieving greater gender equality could help reinforce Europe's economic performance and what role the European civil society could play in supporting the development and implementation of these policies.
The EESC organised its 4th edition of the European Day of Social Economy Enterprises in Strasbourg, on 27 November. The event which was coorganised by the City of Strasbourg and the Eurometropole, and the French Ministry for an ecological and solidary transition was entitled ''The Social Economy: mobilising cities, regions and civil society. Pact for Impact for the European Union''. The aim of the event was to review the progress made in setting up an ecosystem for social enterprises and to see what are the next steps for this model of enterprise model to be recognized and more widely disseminated.
The Consultative Committee (CC) is one of the 5 institutions foreseen in the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement. The CC is composed of 40 (25 from the CARIFORUM side and 15 from the EU side) standing representatives of organisations of the civil society representing employers' organisations, trade unions, other economic, social and non-governmental organisations, including development and environmental organisations; and the academic community.
The EESC organised a regional seminar in Eastern and Southern Africa, which comprises the Indian Ocean islands (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles), countries from the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan) and some countries of Southern Africa (Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
The regional seminar took place in Mauritius, on 21-22 November 2019.
The aim of the conference was to discuss the opportunities and challenges provided by digitalisation, in particular cutting-edge digital tools, AI and robotics as well as the prerequisites to make this happen. It also addressed expectations for future steps of policy making on the European Level.
The conference aims at inquiring about Europe's future in the coming era of artificial intelligence and policies like Society 5.0
Is Europe being cornered in an unfavourable position as European digital companies struggle to compete with overseas competitors? How will a workplace of tomorrow look like? What is the future of labour in Europe? How can Europe make the best use of the upcoming new digital era?
Will we live in a surveillance capitalism?
On 13 November, the event, entitled Trust in liberal professions in the age of digitalisation and artificial intelligence, aimed to gain fresh insight into the impact of artificial intelligence on the exercise of professional services and on clients' and patients' rights. Speakers addressed fundamental issues such as transparency, communication and trust in professionals, regulators' awareness of the challenges linked to the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence, the consequences on the quality of professional services and their capacity to protect public interest. Stay tuned for more information !
The Latin America Follow up Committee of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a Hearing on the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement: The views of organized civil society on 13 of November 2019.
The main purpose of the debate was to:
- Assess the opportunities and challenges ahead of the implementation of the Agreement;
- Evaluate compromises and possible impacts of the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the Agreement;
- Explore how the civil society and consultative structures should monitor the impact of the Association Agreement in terms of improving human rights and labour, social and environmental rights as well as a strict compliance with international conventions or agreements the parties have committed to.