At the request of the current Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU, the EESC was asked to prepare an exploratory opinion on the challenges and priorities that countries of the Western Balkans are facing in the European integration process, as well as in the area of economic and social cohesion. Western Balkans will be one of the policy priorities of the Bulgarian presidency and a Western Balkans Summit is scheduled to take place in May 2018 in Sofia. Following the recent economic crises in Europe, the forecasts for economic growth in the Western Balkans are now good, although progress on reform has been slow, the rule of law has been weak, and corruption is persistent.
Following up on the vision set out in the Five Presidents' Report and the Reflection Papers on the Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the Future of EU Finances, the European Commission has recently put forward a package of seven communications and legislative proposals, providing for a series of concrete measures to be taken over the next 18 months to continue the process of deepening EMU. In this regard, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) believes that strengthening the architecture of EMU is indeed the only means we have to achieve higher investment and job creation, sustained economic growth, social fairness, better resilience to economic shocks and overall macroeconomic stability in Europe, and that in the coming months there is a window of opportunity to make further progress in this field.
The 11th meeting of the EU Advisory Group for the EU-Central America Association Agreement took place on 25 January in Brussels. Please click on the programme tab to consult the topics on the agenda.
The event will launch the "Toolkit on the use of EU Funds for the integration of people with a migrant background". The European Commission continues to look for ways to assist Member States in the field of integration of third country nationals. Based on the lessons learnt, the toolkit aims to support national and regional funding authorities in implementing integration policies through the use of EU funds and, therefore, to reinforce synergies between those funds. This will help identify measures to promote the use of EU funds in the fields of employment, education, reception, housing and access to basic services.
Launch event for the report of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), in cooperation with the European Economic and Social Committee's Liaison Group, invites you to the launch event of its report on 'Challenges facing civil society organisations working on human rights in the EU' followed by a panel discussion
531st Plenary Session, with the following debates: The climate finance pact, with Miguel Arias Cañete, Pierre Larrouturou and Jean Jouzel; and the presentation of the priorities of the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU, with Ms Zornitsa Roussinov
In line with the EESC opinion " Strengthening Europe's Cyber Resilience System " (TEN / 608) adopted in December 2016 and taking into account the growing importance of cybersecurity, the EESC is organizing a half-day conference on 09 January 2018, in Brussels.
The conference is the opportunity to evaluate the EU model of resilience, in the context of attacks targeting citizens, social systems and economic sectors in the Member States.
This 10th JCC was held in Brussels and it tackled the following issues:
- The current state of play in EU-Montenegro relations and the accession process
- The digitalization as a tool for social and economic development
- Public administration reform
- Overview of the civil society in Montenegro
- State of the media sector in Montenegro
- The Joint Declaration from the meeting was adopted
The Euro-Mediterranean Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions bring together some 120 participants from a range of economic and social councils, or similar institutions, representatives of employers, trade unions, other economic and social interests groups and NGOs from countries which are members of the Union for the Mediterranean.
This year, the Summit will focus on :
- Economic, Social and Cultural rights in the Mediterranean region
- A Social protection floor in the Euromediterrean Area
- A new generation of women's rights
It will conclude with the adoption of a final declaration that will be sent to the political authorities of the countries involved in the Euromed Ministerial Summits as civil society's contribution to their work, and disseminated widely amongst civil society organisations in the region.
The EESC Permanent Study Group on Disability Rights is organising a public hearing on "Reviewing the 2014-2020 ESIF Regulations in favour of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations".
The aim of the event is to look into the use of European Investment and Structural Funds to promote inclusion of persons with disability.