The External Relations Section (REX) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is responsible for dialogue between European civil society organisations and their homologues from the countries with which the European Union has formal relations (e.g. under the form of a Free Trade Agreement). Through this dialogue, made possible by a series of bilateral bodies, and through specialized opinions and information reports, the Committee is able to concretely contribute to EU foreign policy.
The EU-Russia Follow-up Committee is the EESC's internal body responsible for relations with Russian civil society.
Since the war against Ukraine was launched by the authorities of the Russian Federation on 24 February 2022, free civil society in Russia has been silenced by special laws and growing repression, while many critics of the regime have been forced into exile.
In the current difficult circumstances, the EESC has decided to keep the door open for dialogue with the anti-war section of Russian civil society that is present on EU territory.
This has led to fruitful exchanges of information and views on how bilateral relations should proceed after the end of the war and a return to freedom and democracy in the country.
Realistic targets are needed to achieve a competitive and sustainable energy ecosystem
On 30 and 31 March, 100 students and 39 teachers from all 28 EU Member States and the five EU candidate countries (Albania, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) met at the EESC in Brussels for “Your Europe, Your Say!” 2017. This year's theme was “Europe @ 60: Where to next?”.
The EESC organised debates with organised civil society in all Member States between 2 September and 2 November 2016. The debates were coordinated by three EESC members ('trios') from the country concerned, often in co-operation with the European Commission (15 debates) or the national Economic and Social Council (7 debates).
On 17-18 March 2016, students from schools in all 28 EU Member States and, for the first time, from the 5 EU candidate countries (Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey) met at the EESC in Brussels for Your Europe, Your Say!. They came to debate an issue that has been one of the most important topics on the European political agenda for some time: migration and integration. The key question for this year’s event was “How can we better integrate migrants and refugees in our societies?”.
The European Union: how does it work? Can you influence decisions? Do you know how the policies that affect your life are made?
What if some of the EU’s complicated procedures were turned into a game – fun to play but challenging as well – that you could download onto your smartphone, tablet or laptop?
The study was conducted with the aim of analysing feasibility of a supply chain, to capitalise on unsold seafood products for distribution to deprived people
The European Economic and Social Committee has been an ardent supporter of the Eastern Partnership from the very outset and the EESC's Employers' Group has continually emphasised the need to strengthen the partnership's economic dimension. An appropriate tool was needed to enable the representatives of employers, entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises from the EU and its partner countries to meet and openly assess the process of convergence with the European acquis and its impact on the economic situation.
The impact of TTIP in Malta: benefits and challenges - Summary of the debate that took place in Malta on the 9 March 2015
The business sector in Europe believes a deep and comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) can further enhance this economic relationship and ensure that everyone enjoys the benefits of trade and investment ties more fully.
The document is a summary of the discussion on the Impact of the TTIP in Malta, which took place in Valletta, Malta on 9 March 2015. The meeting was organised together with the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry.
The EU is highly dependent on energy resources. More than a half of EU energy consumption is linked to imports. Increasing instability in the Middle East together with the deterioration of EU-Russia relations mean that energy security will remain at the top of the EU's agenda in the coming years. How can we achieve a true energy union? How can interconnectivity be increased between Member States? What should the ideal energy mix look like and how can energy efficiency be increased within the EU? The publication summarises the debate that seeks answers to these questions.