EESC Information Newsletter - April 2023

Dear Madam, dear Sir,

It is my pleasure to invite you to the 578th Plenary Session of the European Economic and Social Committee, which will mark the end of my mandate as EESC President. On this occasion, I would like to thank you for your support and cooperation throughout the last two and a half years. During the mid-term elections we will vote on the new Committee Bureau, President, Vice-Presidents, presidents of sections and other EESC bodies. 

On Wednesday 26 April at 2 p.m., the president elect of the EESC, Oliver Röpke, will deliver his inauguration speech, followed by: Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (video message); Evelyn Regner, Vice-President of the European Parliament; Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission; Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, President of the Government of Spain (video message); Vasco Alves Cordeiro, President of the European Committee of the Regions (video message); Emily O'Reilly, European Ombudsman; Paulina Brandberg, Minister of Gender Equality and Working Life of Sweden; and Yolanda Díaz Pérez, Second Vice-President of the Government of Spain. 

Later on Wednesday at 3.40 p.m., we will have a round-table discussion, moderated by Shada Islam, on Strengthening Democracy and European Values together with Civil Society in the EU Candidate countries, with: Bujar Osmani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia; Igor Grosu, President of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova; Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine (tbc); Siegfried Mureşan, MEP, Chair of European Parliament’s Delegation to the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee,  and Saška Radujkov, President of Youth of the Movement for Change and Ambassador of the European Democracy Youth Network. 

Also on Wednesday, at 4.45 p.m., the second round-table discussion, moderated by Petra Pinzler, will deal with Future of the EU: bringing together the social, economic and environmental dimensions, with: Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights; Yolanda Díaz Pérez, Second Vice-President of the Government of Spain; Markus Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope; Seán Healy, Director of Social Justice Ireland; Ana Mendes Godinho, Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security of the Government of Portugal; and Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary. 

On Thursday 27 April at 9.30 a.m., we're organizing a debate on Mechanisms of social imbalance, with Joaquín Pérez Rey, Secretary of State for Labour and Social Economy of Spain. 

Later on Thursday at 11 a.m., I invite you to follow our debate on the EESC's recommendations for a solid reform of the European Semester, with Dragos Pîslaru, Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament. 

I will be glad to welcome you at our plenary session. To that end, I invite you to the Hemicycle room of the Paul-Henri Spaak building of the European Parliament in Brussels, or to use webstreaming, which will allow you to follow all the votes and discussions remotely. 

Best regards,

Christa Schweng
EESC President

The EESC plenary session on social media: to take part in the online discussions, follow @EU_EESC or the hashtag #EESCplenary. You can also post on our Facebook page via where the plenary session is announced. Don't forget that the plenary session is also streamed. Are your networks and organisations interested in our discussions? Let them know! 

News from the ESCs/EESC

Calls for information exchange between ESCs: 

  • Bulgarian ESC: "Micro-credentials for life-long learning and individual learning accounts". The Bulgarian Council would like to know if other ESCs are working on national dissemination of the two Council recommendations in the area of Vocational education and training.   
  • French ESEC: "New genomic techniques". The French ESEC would be very interested in knowing if another ESC has been working or is currently working on this matter. 
  • Belgian Councils (CCE and CNT): 75th Anniversary of the Central Council of the Economy (CCE) – royal audience 
  • Irish ESC (NESC): Report Launch Exploring a Just Transition in Agriculture on 30 June 2023. More info via

Main opinions to be discussed during the upcoming session (26-27 April 2023

  • Further enhancing the EU's digital competitiveness (exploratory opinion requested by the Swedish Presidency) (INT/1010), Mr Lobo Xavier (PT-I) & Mr Von Brockdorff (MT-II) 
  • The Single Market at 30 – how to further improve the functioning of the Single Market (exploratory opinion requested by the Swedish Presidency) (INT/1011), Mr Medina (ES-I) & Mr Pagliara (IT-II) 
  • Competence and skill development in a context of the green and digital transition (exploratory opinion requested by the Swedish Presidency) (SOC/755), Ms Barrera Chamorro (ES-II) & Ms Ochędzan (PL-III) 
  • The transition to a long-term sustainable transport system (exploratory opinion requested by the Swedish Presidency) (TEN/795), Mr Back (SE-I) & Mr Szymański (PL-II) 
  • Precarious work and mental health (exploratory opinion requested by the Spanish Presidency) (SOC/745), Mr Moreno Díaz (ES-II) 
  • Democracy at work (exploratory opinion requested by the Spanish Presidency) (SOC/746), Mr Hoffmann (DE-II) & Mr Balon (PL-III) 
  • Mechanisms of social imbalance (exploratory opinion requested by the Spanish Presidency) (SOC/748), Ms Ochędzan (PL-III) 
  • The European Disability Card (exploratory opinion requested by the European Commission) (SOC/765), Mr Vardakastanis (EL-III) 
  • Initiative on virtual worlds, such as the metaverse (exploratory opinion requested by the European Commission) (CCMI/206), Mr Böhme (DE-III) 
  • The EESC's recommendations for a solid reform of the European Semester (own-initiative opinion) (ECO/600), Mr Lobo Xavier (PT-I), Mr Doz Orrit (ES-II) & Mr Jahier (IT-III) 
  • Right to a healthy environment in the European Union especially in the context of the Ukrainian war (Own-initiative opinion) (NAT/885), Ms Yildirim (FR-II)
  • Revision of Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste (NAT/854), Mr Komoróczki (HU-I)
  • Specific rules relating to the entry into Northern Ireland from other parts of the United Kingdom of certain consignments of goods (REX/575), Mr Osinga (NL-III)
  • Specific rules relating to medicinal products for human use intended to be placed on the market of Northern Ireland (REX/574), Mr O'Connor (IE-II)
  • Anti-trafficking directive (SOC/752), Mr Moreno Díaz (ES-II) & Mr Barbieri (IT-III) 

Main opinions adopted during the previous session (22-23 March 2023)

  • Summary of adopted opinions 
  • State of the Energy Union 2022 (TEN/791), Mr Nowacki (PL-I) - Mr Pagliara (IT-II) - Mr Ribbe (DE-III) 
  • Strengthening the role and independence of equality bodies (SOC/750), Ms Merlo (IT-II) & Ms Holst (DK-III) 
  • Revision of the Design Directive and Regulation (INT/1008), Mr Wyckmans (BE-II) 
  • Listing rules for public markets (Listing Act) (ECO/602), Mr Kupšys (LT-III) 
  • Wooden construction for CO2 reduction in building sector (exploratory opinion requested by the Swedish Presidency) (TEN/794), Mr Kolbe (AT-III) & Mr Hägglund (SE-II) 
  • Ex-post evaluation of Horizon 2020 (evaluation report) (INT/974), Mr Lobo Xavier (PT-I) 
  • Carbon Removal Certification (NAT/887), Mr Tchoukanov (BG-III) 
  • EU strategy on fertilisers (NAT/888), Mr Puech d'Alissac (FR-I) 

Upcoming events

Ongoing events

Past events

Work organisation