The 2nd meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform was held on 11 February 2016, at the EESC in Brussels. It was an opportunity to discuss the progress made on implementing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and two reports, drawn up by the two signatories, were also examined and adopted: one regarding energy policy and the other the rule of law, with emphasis on tackling corruption.
On Tuesday 9 February, Georges Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, had an audience with Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic. Mr Pavlopoulos said that the European Economic and Social Committee played a special and historic role, noting that it had been "set up as a reminder of the social face of the European Union and was a fundamental pillar of the entire European edifice". He went on to express satisfaction that, once again, a Greek was at the helm of the EESC.
Les jeunes du Lycée professionnel de Notre-Dame-des-Collines font entendre leur voix en Europe!
Georges Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, reiterated European civil society organisations' support in this to Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, when the two met today.
Launch Conference of the EUSALP
On 25-26 January 2016, the European Commission, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, organised the Launch Conference of the EUSALP in Brdo, Slovenia. The aim of the conference was to bring together the EU Institutions, the participating States and Regions and all key players in the governance and implementation of the EUSALP so that they could share their views on the best working methods and efficient management of the Strategy.
Over 30 members of the European Economic and Social Committee, representing trade unions, employers and various civil society associations have recently travelled to 11 EU countries and Turkey to assess how these countries are coping with the influx of refugees.
A delegation from the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) carried out earlier this week a visit to Bulgaria to hear first-hand from civil society organisations dealing with the migration and refugee situation on the ground. This visit is part of a total of 12 missions organised by the EESC to 11 EU countries plus Turkey, which started with Austria in December 2015 and will finish with the visit to Turkey in February 2016.
The EESC President joined in the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Luxembourg Economic and Social Council (ESC), which were also attended by HRH Grand-Duke Henri, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Mars di Bartolomeo, and the Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel.
In the framework of the COP 21 conference, this opinion and the two others that the EESC adopted at the same time ((TEN/577 and TEN/578) call for a better use of low-carbon energies and a better balance between markets and regulation with the participation of consumers, as well as for an urgent solution to the obstacles to self-production.
Safeguarding the values and achievements of the European Union, such as freedom of movement under the Schengen agreements and social progress, topped the agenda for talks between Georges Dassis (European Economic and Social Committee) and Martin Schulz (European Parliament).