Applications for the EESC Civil Society Prize hit a new record this year, with 285 projects submitted by the deadline. The largest number of applicants came from Italy, followed by Austria and Germany. The number of entries for the EESC Civil Society Prize has increased steadily from its humble beginnings in 2006, when only 15 projects were entered for prizes totalling EUR 20 000. This year, EUR 50 000 will be awarded to up to 5 winners.
Migration and Asylum - Related News
For nearly two years the large and unprecedented flow of refugees from war-torn or underdeveloped countries to the European Union has heavily impacted Europe's political and social life. Providing food and shelter for the masses of refugees reaching the EU, familiarising them with the new realities and cultural differences as well as supporting them through their integration process was and still is a major challenge which the concerned Member States could only face thanks to the spontaneous and overwhelming support of citizens and civil society in general.
Statement by Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, Vice-President of the EESC, on International Youth Day
Today we celebrate International Youth Day, which recognises the power of youth in transforming the world. First launched in Lisbon in 1998, this year's International Youth Day is dedicated to promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their aim to fight global poverty and promote a sustainable world for all. Our ability to implement the SDGs effectively will determine the future of today's youth.
Georges Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), has attended the 30th anniversary of the Catalonia Information Center for Foreign Workers (CITE) in Barcelona, this Friday, 1 July.
Georges Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), took part in the 30th anniversary event of the Catalonia Information Center for Foreign Workers (CITE) in Barcelona, on 1st July.
On 21st June 2016 the European Economic and Social Committee, in cooperation with the United Nations, the International Organization for Migration and the Italian cultural institute in Brussels, organised the screening of 'Fire at Sea' ('Fuocoammare'), the award winning film-documentary set on the island of Lampedusa, a frontline in the European migrant crisis.
Refugees have been the focus of news and debate in Europe over the last year, with the number of asylum applicants reaching 1.3 million in 2015. Their ever increasing flows, the heated debates and the powerful tensions that this influx has generated in Europe make it more important than ever to mark World Refugee Day, to commemorate the many refugees who have lost their lives while seeking safety and to reflect on how best to respond to a trend which, as studies show, is likely to continue.
"Over the last two years war, persecution and poverty have forced more than one million people to seek refuge in Europe, following dangerous routes and risking their lives. Without the assistance of civil society in the reception of these people and the management of the humanitarian crisis, the outcome could have been even more disastrous"
CIVIL SOCIETY DAYS 2016
Representatives from European civil society organisations and networks, members of the EESC and European institutions gathered in Brussels on 31 May and 1 June for the annual Civil Society Days, hosted by the EESC. The main focus of the discussions over the 2-day event was migration and the challenges and changes that this presents to our European society to make the most of it.
As part of a wider programme of country visits to 11 EU countries and to Turkey, an EESC delegation undertook a three-day mission to Ankara and Izmir to meet authorities and civil society organisations active in the migration field from 9 to 11 March 2016. In its Turkey mission report, the EESC presents 13 concrete recommendations to address the current situation.