A mandatory syllabus on European politics to increase knowledge of citizens before casting their ballots was the most voted proposal in the 2019 edition of Your Europe, Your Say (YEYS), the youth event organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 21-22 March 2019. This initiative and three other selected proposals, focused on the use of new technologies and social media to increase participation in EU elections, will be sent to the European Parliament for their consideration.
The future of Europe was high on the agenda of the EESC March plenary, which hosted a debate with Patrick Bernasconi, president of the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council. Luca Jahier, president of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), reaffirmed that civil society had a vital role to play in the European project.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomed the promoters of the STOP EXTREMISM European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) at its 21 March plenary held in Brussels, providing them with a platform at EU level to present the goal of their initiative and their concerns about extremism.
With many legal and technical barriers still in place across the EU, not a single Member State has ensured that elections are accessible to all, an EESC report finds
On 20 March, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) issued an information report presenting the full state of play when it comes to the right of persons with disabilities to vote in the European Parliament elections.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted in its March plenary session on 20 March, an opinion proposing an EU-led global peace-building strategy which includes the creation of the WhiteDoveWay, a path of peace from Northern Ireland to Nicosia, to promote dialogue, reconciliation and conflict prevention following in the initial footsteps of the sixth century Irish pilgrim Columbanus.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted in its February plenary session an opinion supporting the continuation of the European Peace and Reconciliation Programme (PEACE) in Northern Ireland after the UK's withdrawal from the EU. This continued support is considered as "crucial" given the sensitivity of the debate on the UK/Ireland border in the context of the Brexit negotiations.
Civil society representatives from both Serbia and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) asked the EU institutions to monitor more effectively the reforms in the area of the rule of law in Serbia and other EU candidate countries in a joint declaration issued as an outcome of the 8th meeting of the EU-Serbia Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) that took place in Brussels on 27 February.
The European project should be strengthened to deal more effectively with a changing world: this was the main conclusion reached at the round table on "European policies for a world in transition: challenges ahead of the upcoming European elections”, held on 4 March at the European Commission Representation in Madrid.
On 1 March, Oliver Röpke takes over as the new President of the Workers' Group at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), after being elected to the position by the group's members on 7 February. He replaces Gabriele Bischoff, who had been president of the group since October 2015.
On 20 February, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted the opinion "For a European Framework directive on a Minimum Income" in which it asked the European Commission to introduce a binding EU framework establishing an adequate minimum income across Europe, tailored to the standard of living in each Member State.