The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Serbia held the 6th meeting of their Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) at the EESC in Brussels. This civil society platform between the EESC and civil society in Serbia was established within the institutional framework of the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) in order to allow 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. Besides the current state of play in EU-Serbia relations and the accession process, main topic of the 6th JCC meeting was: Social economy and Involvement of social partners and other civil society organisations in the elaboration of Economic Reform Programmes. A common declaration of the JCC was issued after the meeting.
On the 12 April 2018 from 2.00 to 4.30 pm, the Labour Market Observatory will hold a conference on the topic of the long-term unemployment. Following the 2016 Council's recommendation on this subject, the aim is to assess the current situation and discuss about the outcome of LMO's project to evaluate the implementation of the recommendation in the EU Member States. Participants will include representatives of the European Commission, social partners, the EESC groups on disabilities and Roma.
The 6th meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform took place on 12 April 2018 in Brussels. During the meeting, a debate was held assessing the state of play in the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, and two reports, prepared by both sides,on the role of salary and its impact on labour migration, and on climate change, were discussed and adopted.
The PSG on the inclusion of the Roma will, at its 11 April hearing on "Addressing anti-gypsyism in ethnic profiling practices", be looking at ethnic profiling in relation to the Roma community. Roma face discriminatory practices by the police and in the court system, such as Roma-targeted police raids and proportionately more Roma people being charged than people who are not of Roma descent. Such practices contravene Article 21 (1) of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which prohibits discrimination on any grounds, such as race and ethnic origin. The PSG would like to highlight cases of malpractice in this domain, discussing examples from Member States, and also bring to light examples of good practice and discuss the way forward to help alleviate these problems.
During the 6th EU-Korea Civil Society Forum (CSF), participants discussed labour standards with the ILO representative, including progress achieved by both Parties to the Agreement as well as the next steps in the ratification and effective implementation of the ILO fundamental and other up-to-date conventions. Both DAGs also exchanged information about the role of civil society in the EU and the Republic of Korea in the development and implementation of the climate change policy at national, EU and international level. They then adopted final conclusions.
Action on plastics was identified as a priority in the 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan, to help European businesses and consumers to use resources in a more sustainable way. The hearing will look into the strategy on plastics in a circular economy (including action on marine litter) proposed by the EC in the context of both the Communication on A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy (COM(2018) 28 final) and the proposal for a Directive on Port Reception Facilities (COM(2018) 33 final).
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.
The 3rd meeting of the EU Domestic Advisory Group under the EU-Ukraine DCFTA took place on 6 April 2018 in Brussels. Please click on the programme tab to consult the topics on the agenda.
The EESC has been entrusted by the Cotonou Agreement with maintaining relations with socio-economic actors and civil society from ACP countries.
Priorities and activities within the frame of the ACP-EU civil society relations are decided and implemented through an ACP-EU Follow-Up Committee (FuC), which is composed of 12 EESC members and 12 representatives of ACP economic and social interest groups. The FuC is also a primary partner of the political authorities in the Cotonou partnership and the other EU institutions.
The LMO and CEDEFOP organise a joint event "Education and Training - Employment Encounter" on the 23 March 2018 in Lisbon. The aim is to strengthen contacts between EU-level and national policymakers and VET providers and encourage dialogue between, on one side, the education & training actors and, on the other side, the Portuguese labour market stakeholders of Portugal. Participants include the Minister of Labour, training providers, social partners, students' organisations and the national Economic and Social Council.