Our democratic institutions today, our European political system of representative democracies are currently facing a crisis of legitimacy. Many citizens lack a sense of ownership and involvement.One manner of addressing is to promote participation, not just consultation, which is a top down exercise. Involvement in local debates builds trust, generates an understanding of the complexity of democratic processes and empowers citizens.
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This year's Civil Society Days will take place right after the plenary session at which the European Economic and Social Committee celebrates its 60th anniversary.
The focus of this Civil Society Days will be on fostering the current debate about the future of Europe and on highlighting the role across Europe of the civil society organisations which come together in the EESC to represent "Europe at work".
In line with this twofold emphasis, the CivSocDays 2018 will address Europe at work in relation to a dimension which has permeated our everyday working and living environment and will affect and shape our future, as well as the future of Europe: the digital world.
This leaflet provides an overview of the Liaison Group's activities in 2017.
The study carried out by the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) aims to provide an analysis of the current consultation practices at the European Commission as well as to examine the potential of an intermediary body, such as the EESC, and organised civil society, in improving this tool for participatory democracy in the EU.
Introduced on 1 April 2012 by the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Citizens' Initiative is the most important instrument of participative democracy in the European Union. By collecting at least 1 million signatures from at least 7 EU Member States, citizens have the right to call directly on the European Commission to propose a legal act or modify the existing one. This Guide is to provide you with an idea of how to get involved.
Speech by President Luca JAHIER at the 'Euopean Civil Society Day 2014' at the EESC on Tuesday 18 March 2014
The biggest challenge now facing Europe's economy is how to sustain the recovery that is now underway. This is the main message of the 2014 Annual Growth Survey (AGS). Its adoption kicks off the fourth European Semester of economic policy coordination in an environment where growth is beginning to return and Member States are making progress on correcting the imbalances that developed before the crisis.
Civil Society Day at the EESC, Brussels
Social Media have clearly altered the nature of civil society and also have an impact on democratic and political engagement, particularly among civil society organisations.