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Dear readers,


My term-of-office will soon come to an end. As president of the European Economic and Social Committee, I would like to take the opportunity offered by this final editorial to look back at some of the key moments of the past two-and-a-half years in the work of the EESC.

Against the backdrop of increasing critical public opinion towards Europe, this period has been characterised by a willingness on the Committee’s part to broaden and deepen consultations with European civil society so that its positions truly reflect the latter in all its diversity.

Initiatives include the first round of missions at the peak of the migration crisis in the most affected countries, aimed at shedding light on civil society’s role in welcoming refugees and migrants and highlighting their needs (2015-2016), the 28 major debates on Europe’s future conducted in all Member States (2017) and the systematic consultations on the European Pillar of Social Rights (2016). This all testifies to the EESC’s determination to get closer to the grass-roots level to make its voice heard in Brussels.

Diary Dates

23/04/2018 Brussels
European Dialogue on Non-State Climate Action
05/05/2018 Brussels
Europe Day
23/05/2018 - 24/05/2018 Brussels
EESC's plenary session and celebrations for the EESC's 60th anniversary
24/05/2018 - 25/05/2018 Brussels
Civil Society Days 2018

In short

"EESC Energy Days" - Civil society should be more closely involved in the EU energy-policy debate

Social fairness and civil society participation must be at the heart of energy talks at all levels, from the local to the European. The EESC Energy Days, held in Brussels on 7 and 8 March 2018, discussed the state of play and future developments in EU energy policy.

The EESC supports citizen participation and good public administration at the UN ECOSOC meeting

The aim of the ECOSOC preparatory meeting in Prague at the end of March was to highlight the importance of citizen participation, good public administration, and inclusive institutions to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.

New publications

"Shaping Europe – recent EESC achievements"

The EESC brochure "Shaping Europe – recent EESC achievements, 2018 edition" has just been published.

This publication, which is aimed both at the general public and at the other European institutions, provides an overview of the work carried out by the EESC in recent years in the main European policy areas, or more specifically on economic, social, environmental and international issues.


Thank you, President Dassis and Vice-Presidents Lobo Xavier and Smyth!

'United, democratic, solidarity based, peaceful and prosperous Europe close to its people'

Georges Dassis, EESC President 2015-2018

EESC backs Commissioner Ansip's outline of forthcoming Artificial Intelligence strategy

EESC rapporteur on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Catelijne Muller says the strategy, as outlined by Commissioner Ansip to the EESC's plenary on March 15, fully meets the Committee's call for the EU to take global pole position in setting the framework for the responsible development and deployment of AI.

Future of work - bridging the skills gap is crucial

In the opinion on the future of work adopted at the March plenary, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) called on Member States to focus on education and training and adapt their education systems to the needs of the labour markets, which are currently undergoing rapid and dramatic changes brought about by the new digital and industrial revolution.

"ECI must become a powerful tool for citizen participation"

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is intended to promote active citizenship and participatory democracy, and it has the potential to help overcome the EU's democratic deficit. It is also a tool that can unite Europeans around a cause and thus strengthen the sense of European identity. However, in order to achieve its full potential, it must be accompanied by dialogue and make an appropriate impact.

What is not allowed in the real world, must also be a no-go in the virtual world

The EESC acknowledges the Commission's Communication on Tackling Illegal Content Online as a first step but calls on the Commission to establish programmes and effective measures to provide a stable and consistent legal framework for the efficient removal of illegal content. 

EESC calls for momentum to be maintained in Banking Union implementation

Carlos Trias Pinto and Daniel Mareels

The EESC calls for the measures proposed by the European Commission to complete the Banking Union and deepen the EMU to be fully implemented without delay.

EESC urges reaffirmation of European social model


In order to overcome the widening inequalities in European society, social sustainability should be taken into account in all EU policies and the European social model reasserted as a guarantee of social protection for all citizens in the era of digitalisation and globalisation, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) said at its March plenary.

European Consumer Day 2018: Consumers need better protection online

How best to ensure online consumer protection: this was the focus of the 20th European Consumer Day, a joint event by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Bulgarian Economic and Social Council, held in Sofia on 20 March.

4th European Migration Forum focuses on integrating migrants into labour market

The 2018 European Migration Forum, organised jointly by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Commission, had as its main theme the challenges and opportunities involved in helping migrants integrate into the EU's labour market. It brought together more than 120 civil society organisations as well as representatives from local and national governments and EU institutions.

Welcome to the new editor-in-chief

Ewa Haczyk-Plumley is the new Head of the European Economic and Social Committee's Press Unit as of 3 April 2018.

News from the Groups

Bridging the Skills Gap – The Employers' Perspective

by the EESC's Employers' Group

Addressing the skills gap is a multi-dimensional task that requires work not only on education and training systems but also on changing people's mindsets. Due to the rapid pace of change we are seeing today, it is not easy to accurately identify future skills needs. We all have to accept that the future of work will require lifelong learning, to ensure that we constantly adapt our skills to changing needs. These were among the conclusions reached at the conference on "Bridging the Skills Gap for Growth and Job Creation – the Business Perspective", which took place on 22 March 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Funding the European Pillar of Social Rights

by the EESC's Workers' Group

We urgently need to relaunch solidarity and to stop nationalism, racism, and short-sighted policies in Europe.

The European Pillar of Social Rights is fundamental to improving working and wage conditions and social protection systems in Europe, guaranteeing work-life balance, and improving social standards and convergence among EU Member States  including collective bargaining and access to social services.

How to boost sustainable growth and cohesion in vulnerable regions

by the EESC's Various Interests Group

On 6 March, the Various Interests Group held its Extraordinary meeting in Sofia, within the context of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. It was the last event of the Group under the Presidency of Luca Jahier.

Soon in the EESC/Cultural events

Open Doors Day – 5 May 2018

On Saturday 5 May 2018, the EESC, together with the other EU institutions, will open its doors to the public to celebrate Europe Day.