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Those who sleep in democracy wake up in dictatorship

Democracy is a tiny plant than needs to be nurtured – a daily task for those who believe that solutions for the majority are found through debate, compromise and comprehensive communication. From this point of view, democracy in Europe is at risk.

In the past 10 years, leaders have been grappling with crises that caught Europe somewhat unawares: first came the financial crisis, then an economic and social crisis, and finally – as if all that was not enough – the so-called "migration crisis", which permanently upset the mood of European society.

Diary Dates

05/02/2019, Brussels

Public hearing - Participation of persons with disabilities in European elections

20-21/02/2019, Brussels

EESC plenary session

21/02/2019, Brussels

Citizens' Convention on the Future of Europe

In short

EESC and European Parliament to team up to boost participation in European elections

EESC and European Parliament presidents Luca Jahier and Antonio Tajani have signed a joint declaration in which the two institutions undertake to carry out a number of joint activities to raise awareness of and encourage participation in the 2019 European elections. 

#COP24: EESC president Luca Jahier calls for new EU governance on climate action

Non-state and subnational actors have so far played a decisive role in action on climate, but they often face insurmountable obstacles. At the COP 24 climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, on 2-14 December 2018, the EESC president, Luca Jahier, stressed how urgent it was to tackle climate change and underlined the fact that Europe needed to embrace a new mechanism for sustainability that included multi-stakeholder governance.

Euromed Summit: Investing in human capital is key to ensuring stability and security in the region

Members of civil society representative bodies from countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region met in Turin on 17-18 December for the annual Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions. They discussed education and training in the region.

Civil society representatives ask Montenegro to step up efforts in areas of migration and media freedom

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Representatives of civil society bodies discussed in Brussels the current situation of Montenegro's EU accession negotiations at the 12th meeting of the EU-Montenegro Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC). A final joint declaration welcomed the fast growth of Montenegro's economy in 2018 as well as the fall of unemployment.

Investing in clean mobility is essential

Safe and clean mobility is crucial for the future of Europe. At a high-level conference in Vienna on 15-16 November 2018, the EESC members looked at the state of play of mobility in the EU and stressed once again how fundamental a strong commitment on this matter is for the future development of European transport policy.

"United in sadness" - a tribute to Paweł Adamowicz, Mayor of Gdańsk

EESC President Luca Jahier and Isabel Caño, Vice-President for communication, paid tribute to Paweł Adamowicz, Mayor of Gdańsk, who succumbed to injuries from a brutal attack on 13 January 2019 during a public charity event. The commemorative ceremony took place on the Solidarność Esplanade of the European Parliament in Brussels on 15 January.

Seminar for journalists with a view to the 2019 European elections

In December 2018, the EESC press unit organised its second seminar for journalists, aimed at enabling journalists from across Europe to become better acquainted with the work of the Committee, its members and the contributions it makes to the lives of Europeans.

All the best!

Best wishes from the Press Unit for 2019. We hope you have a creative year!

“I hope that 2019 will be full of justice, solidarity and equality” - Isabel Caño Aguilar, vice president for communication


"The past is a good teacher but not a destination for the future"

Frans Timmermans, first Vice-President of the European Commission, spoke on the rule of law and a sustainable Europe at the EESC's December plenary.

Without migrants, Europe's economic and social model is in danger

On 13 December 2018, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an own-initiative opinion on the costs of non-immigration and non-integration. It focuses on the impact of immigration and of migrants' integration on daily life in EU society.

Civil society should take lead in upholding endangered European values

Twelve speakers, including journalists and academics, from 12 EU countries discussed their views on how best to reassert Europe's values at the EESC's 12 Civil Society Media Seminar, held in Athens on 22-23 November.

EESC advocates Climate Finance Forum for non-state actors

The EU is the crucial player in coordinating and financing national and regional efforts to fight climate change. It supports bottom-up climate action globally but there is much more that can be done in Europe. In an opinion entitled Facilitating access to climate finance for non-state actors, drafted by Cillian Lohan, the EESC identifies the different problems that various groups are facing in getting finance for their climate action projects, and offers possible solutions.


Nuclear energy on the agenda at December plenary

At the December plenary session, the Committee adopted several opinions on nuclear energy, put together by the TEN section.

Implementing EU green legislation must become a priority

Poor, fragmented and uneven implementation of EU environmental legislation in the Member States is undermining people's trust in its effectiveness. Ensuring that proper implementation must become a priority for the EU and the Member States.

EESC calls for comprehensive measures to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing

Money laundering

The EESC welcomes the Commission's proposal to amend the European System of Financial Supervision with the objective of more effectively tackling money laundering and terrorist financing in the EU banking and financial sector, but calls for more comprehensive measures.

Industry 5.0 will bring about a new paradigm of cooperation between humans and machines

Although industry 4.0 is still a relatively new concept, many experts are already announcing a fifth industrial revolution that will bring about a new paradigm of cooperation and interaction between humans and machines. This is one of the main conclusions of the conference on industry 5.0 organised by the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI) of the European Economic and Social Committee on 22 November.

Romania's EU Presidency: cohesion as a European value

Romania is taking up the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019, when a number of key issues are on the EU agenda: the debate on the Future of Europe, which will culminate in the Sibiu Summit, the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), Brexit and – last but by no means least – the 2019 European elections.

News from the Groups

Women: the largest disruptive force in business

By the EESC's Employers' Group

Europe loses EUR 370 billion a year due to the gender employment gap. What's more, it is statistically proven that companies with more gender-diverse management boards produce better results. So, why might it take another 217 years to close the economic gender gap at global level, as estimated by the World Economic Forum? On 17 December, high-level speakers from the worlds of business, politics and NGOs came together with members of the Employers' Group to discuss how to leverage the immense potential that women could bring to the European economy.

International Migrants Day

By the EESC's Workers Group

International Migrants Day on 18 December provides an opportunity to present new reflections, based on the understanding of migration as a normal factor in any human society.


Better Communicating ‘Europe’ through solid facts and information

By the EESC's Diversity Europe Group

The EESC’s Diversity Europe Group recently met with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Eurostat to acquire the solid facts and information necessary to explain the benefits of EU membership to national and regional organisations as well as to European citizens. By ensuring that both citizens and our democratic institutions get access to reliable and high-quality information, it is possible to inform policy, anticipate future societal challenges and innovate.

Soon in the EESC/Cultural events

European elections 2019: European youth to speak their mind at YEYS

Thirty-three schools from across Europe will come to Brussels next March to debate their views, hopes and expectations regarding the forthcoming European elections. They will come up with three proposals encapsulating their generation's topmost priorities. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will make sure their proposals reach the law-makers.

EESC photography exhibition shines a light on disability

The EESC's 2018 cultural programme ended with a photo exhibition entitled Together for Inclusion showcasing 10 award-winning images of people with disabilities shown in a positive perspective as active agents in their lives.