The EESC says threats to the rule of law and fundamental rights and the shrinking space for civil society, as described in its report based on visits to several EU countries, may be further exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis
At its June plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted a resolution with its proposals for the post-COVID-19 crisis reconstruction and recovery. Under the slogan 'the EU must be guided by the principle of being considered a community of common destiny', the adopted text suggests taking the opportunity presented by the crisis to build a new societal model: “We cannot simply restore what existed in the past: we need to restructure and improve it.”
At its June plenary, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted a debate on the recovery of the European economy following the crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, stressing that the focus must now be on implementing the European Commission's plan.
At its June plenary session the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted a debate with Michel Barnier, Head of the EU Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom. Barnier informed of the state of play of Brexit negotiations and expressed his disappointment over the attitude of the British government which, in his opinion, was not respecting the Political Declaration signed in October 2019: "We expect the UK to respect its engagements", said Barnier.
A few days after the European Commission presented its proposal for a major recovery plan to face the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, on 2 June the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a webinar to assess its suitability. All participants agreed on the importance of this ambitious initiative, an example of the solidarity and the political will of all EU Member States in times of uncertainty.
Civil society organisations have been at the forefront of fighting the pandemic in Europe, often stepping in at a moment's notice to plug huge gaps in the public provision of social services and healthcare. Meeting remotely with the EESC on 12 May, they asked to be at the table with EU institutions and governments to help design a recovery plan for a sustainable Europe.
With its share in the global population at an all-time low and another baby boom unlikely, Europe will need to take a holistic approach if it is to reverse its demographic decline, stimulating employment and embracing strong economic and social policies that can restore the confidence of its citizens in the future.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has welcomed the Commission's proposal on revised employment guidelines for Member States, but asked for the guidelines to be adapted to take account of the looming employment and social crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and to help cushion its adverse effects on Europe's labour markets.
EESC President Luca Jahier has met today the newly appointed Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum Panagiotis Mitarachi, as part of the visit to Athens of the EESC's permanent study group on Immigration and Integration (IMI).
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), home of Europe's organised civil society, stands side by side with the European Commission as the perfect partner to address the future of EU migration and integration policies.