Civil Society Prize in 2019 dedicated to the empowerment of women

The EESC dedicates its flagship Civil Society Prize in 2019 to the empowerment of women and fight for gender equality. Applications for 2019 are now open.


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Dear readers,

We have voted and elected our representatives in the European Parliament. We have voted, and above all understood that our vote has the power to influence our daily lives.

The European Parliament carried out an extensive campaign to encourage people to go out and vote. The 51% participation demonstrated that, amongst other things, this time we managed to pass a message on to the public to the effect that it was important to vote. The EESC and its members were active on the electoral scene in local districts and regions and within organisations, stressing the impact of each and every person's vote in the major democratic electoral exercise of 26 May.

Diary Dates

28 June 2019, Brussels

Communicating Disability Rights

12 July 2019, Brussels 

What kind of economic models do citizens want for Europe?

17 - 18 July 2019, Brussels

EESC Plenary session

In short

EESC Vice-President Isabel Caño fired one of the six starter pistols for the Brussels 20km race

More than 40 000 runners representing 137 different nationalities took part in the 20km sporting event in Brussels, which celebrated its 40th anniversary on 19 May 2019. The theme of this year's race was the European elections and the slogan "This time I'm voting".

Dilyana Slavova presents EESC's views at Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers meeting

Dilyana Slavova, president of the EESC's External Relations section, attended the meeting of foreign ministers of the Eastern Partnership countries hosted by the Council of the EU on 13 May to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership.

EESC celebrates EEA Agreement's 25th anniversary

The 25th anniversary of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, in force since 1994, was the main topic of the EEA Consultative Committee meeting on 23 and 24 May.

EESC/CoR canteen goes plastic-free

Since 14 May, no disposable plastic material or products packed with plastic are used in the canteen shared by the European Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee in the Jacques Delors building, has thus become the first plastic-free canteen of the European Institutions.


Margrethe Vestager at the EESC: "We need a global solution for digital taxation"

Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, said at the EESC's May plenary session that "the Commission has been pushing for digital taxation because we need a global solution: it's unacceptable that some companies pay taxes and others don't". However, the Commissioner explained that the EU has to find a European solution first.

The fight against antisemitism is also a fight for a democratic, value-based Europe

The EESC invited Raya Kalnova (European Jewish Congress), Michael Bilewicz (Centre for Research on Prejudice, University of Warsaw) and Joel Kotek (Free University of Brussels ULB) to discuss anti-Semitism in Europe at its plenary session in May.

EESC puts forward proposal to enhance SMEs' contribution to the bioeconomy

"The challenge ahead involves both fighting climate change and providing nutrition for a planet that will soon be home to 10 billion people. The bioeconomy, which encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, and bio-based products, can play a major role in achieving both," said Mindaugas Maciulevičius and Udo Hemmerling, rapporteurs of the EESC opinion Updating of the Bioeconomy Strategy, adopted on 15 May. 

Aging with dignity – a human right, but also an opportunity for economic progress

The EESC believes that aging with dignity should become a fundamental right. Europeans are living longer, and this is good news.  But with aging, new social, economic and health-related challenges are emerging that affect both the elderly and their families and societies. For too long this topic has been neglected and the growing needs of older people not anticipated, says the EESC. In an opinion adopted on 15 May, the EESC highlights the enormous potential older people represent for new jobs and technological progress.

Europe's civil society calls for political commitment to achieving equal treatment of men and women

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has urged the European Union and its Member States to put gender equality at the top of their political agenda amid concerns that recent attacks on women's rights in Europe might seriously compromise progress towards equality between men and women.

The EESC asks governments to encourage and promote philanthropy in Europe

The European Economic and Social Committee has called on the EU Member States to establish an enabling environment for philanthropy in line with EU freedoms and fundamental rights, and recommends that they recognise and promote philanthropy as a recognised and socially responsible form of contributing to the public good or the welfare of others.

The single market has brought very tangible benefits to European citizens

The single market has brought many real benefits to European citizens, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) argues in its response to the European Commission's assessment of the state of play of the single market. Affordable air travel, the end of roaming charges, enhanced job opportunities in a continent-wide labour market, consumer rights that offer a high level of protection across borders. This success story can be an antidote against populism, nationalism and protectionism, says the EESC.

Artificial intelligence in Europe: no one must be left behind

The development of artificial intelligence in Europe should be as broadly inclusive as possible, the EESC says in its assessment of the European Commission's Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence. Policy should ensure that civil society reaps the numerous benefits of AI while minimising risks such as the manipulation of democratic processes.

News from the Groups

The Workers’ voice in the next European Parliament

by the EESC's Workers' Group

We need the voice of workers to be heard loud and clear not only in the European Parliament, but also in the Commission said Oliver Röpke, President of the Workers' Group. For this reason, the EESC Workers' Group organised on 22 May 2019 a side event at the ETUC Congress to discuss how we can ensure that the rights of workers are at the centre of the political agenda in the new European Parliament over the next five years.

Diversity Europe Group releases executive summary of study on young people and the EU

by the EESC's Diversity Europe Group

The main elements of the executive summary of the study on Youngsters and the EU – Perceptions, Knowledge and Expectations were presented in the press room of the European Commission’s Charlemagne building on May 15. This research aims to draw comparisons between the attitudes of young people studying at the Brussels-based European Schools and at schools following national education systems in France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Romania.

Commission vice-president debates with Employers' Group on future policy priorities

by the EESC's Employers' Group

Investments in the EU, current challenges the EU is facing and possible priorities for the next term of the European Commission and European Parliament – these were the main topics of the debate between European Commission vice-president Jyrki Katainen and the members of the Employers' Group, which took place at the group's meeting on 15 May 2019.

Soon in the EESC/Cultural events

"Grand Départ" for clean mobility

On 3 July 2019 the EESC will welcome Alberto Toscano, journalist and author of the book "A bike against Nazi barbarism, the incredible destiny of the champion Gino Bartali", to a debate on clean mobility. Italian cycling champion Gino Bartali was an extraordinary man, a discreet hero who saved hundreds of Italian Jews during the Holocaust.

Artwork exhibition "Post-industrial Societies: Art & Crisis of Values"

The EESC is hosting the art exhibition Post-industrial Societies: Art & Crisis of Values featuring the work of the Spanish artist Jesus Montoia Oribe. The exhibition has been organised to highlight the work done by the EESC in the field of industrial change.

Council to host EESC exhibition ''The EU speaks your language''

poster EU speaks your language

The Council of the EU will display in its premises the exhibition The EU speaks your language, originally shown at the EESC in September 2018 to mark the 60th anniversary of the first legal act enshrining multilingualism in the EU.



EESC exhibition "Together for inclusion" on show at European Development Days

The photo exhibition Together for Inclusion is being presented on 18 and 19 June 2019 in the Global Village of the European Development Days (EDDs 2019), organised by the European Commission in Tour & Taxis, Brussels.