Russia

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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.

  • Evictions remain a serious problem across Europe and the input session will draw the attention to similarities between evictions in different kind of countries.

    The session will help raise awareness of the issues, and allow for interchange between Roma organizations across Europe and is part of the continuous work of the EESC to bring attention to Roma issues. This will also be an opportunity for the EESC to deepen its work on evictions, following the showing of a film on Roma evictions in Italy ("River Memories") followed by a debate on this issue.

  • The EESC has set up a permanent study group on Roma inclusion which will be monitoring the implementation the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies from the point on view of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

    Anti-gypsyism and discrimination are important barriers to Roma enjoying full rights and this hearing plans to map possible avenues for redress for Roma, including equality bodies. The hearing will allow for the exchange of best practices on how Roma can address violations of their rights.

  • The EESC Employers' Group is organising a seminar on "Strengthening European Growth and Competitiveness: Proactive Trade Agenda – NOW!" taking place on 26 October in Helsinki and jointly organized with the Confederation of Finnish Industries and the International Chamber of Commerce, ICC Finland.

    Trade and Investment are hugely important for the EU: 1 in 7 EU jobs depend on exports. The EU cannot risk falling behind in the global race to build a wide and ambitious network of free trade agreements. The signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement (involving 12 countries and 40% of world GDP) is a timely reminder of this. This seminar, which will be attended by many of our Members together with Finnish employers and entrepreneurs, politicians and academics aims to examine how to best contribute positively to the debate as trade agreements (TTIP - TISA - CETA - EU-JAPAN) increasingly become a top political issue.

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    In 2016 the EU-Africa Network of economic and social stakeholders will gather Nairobi (Kenya) on 6-7 July. This year the focus will be on:

    • MIGRATION (follow-up to the Valletta Summit between EU and African heads of state, comparative of EU and African approaches to legal migration)

    • CLIMATE CHANGE AND AGRICULTURE (how to facilitate socio-economic actors' access to financial resources to fight against climate change)

    The EESC will organise a meeting bringing together the representatives of the employers, workers and various interests' group (particularly farmers) from both continents to reinforce cooperation among European and African socio-economic actors, raise awareness and improve knowledge of available sources of financing to tackle climate change and identify common strategies and possible partnerships.

    The conclusions of the economic and social stakeholders' meeting will be summarised in a document that will be sent to political bodies and the main EU and African partners.