At its plenary session on 18 July, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted a debate with Conny Reuter, co-chair of the EESC's Liaison Group with European civil society organisations and networks.

Mr Reuter presented the conclusions and the recommendations of the 2019 Civil Society Days, which took place in mid-June in Brussels, exploring the theme of sustainable democracy. He also spoke of the role of the Liaison Group, established in 2004 as a unique body within the EU, created to ensure a permanent dialogue between the EU institutions and the European network of civil society organisations at the EU level.

"We are here to promote civil dialogue of a progressive and inclusive Europe," Mr Reuter told the plenary, stressing the Group's important role of offering an EU perspective on vital topics and policies, rising above national interests.

The EESC President Luca Jahier commended the good work of the EESC Liaison Group: "We are trying to build bridges and not to shut doors. We are here to work together for a better Europe," he stressed.

As a symbol of their close cooperation, every year the Liaison Group and the EESC organise the Civil Society Days in order to highlight the contribution of civil society organisations to the building of a European Union which is more in tune with citizens' aspirations. The event has just marked its 10th anniversary. Mr Jahier said the Civil Society Days have become one of the Committee's flagship events. In June, more than 250 participants attended the event. (ll)