During the 8th meeting of the Domestic Advisory Group for the EU-Colombia, Peru and Ecuador FTA the new President and Vice-Chairs were elected under the new mandate. Members participated in debriefing on past activities and exchanged views on a possible work programme for the new mandate. DG TRADE provided the members with the latest information on the FTA.
The EESC Study Group on Disability Rights is organising a public hearing on "Persons with disabilities as a human capital: their contribution to the economy and society".
The aim of the event is to look into how persons with disabilities have been able to bring a positive change in the organisations that employ them.
Based on inspiring testimonies and presentations of good practices, we will try to identify the policy changes required to facilitate this process and what employers and organised civil society can do to help bringing them about.
Your presence and input are most welcome!
On 18 June 2018, the European Economic and Social Committee, together with the European Commission, organised a stakeholder summit on artificial intelligence (AI). The summit brought together businesses representatives, academia, workers, citizens, policy makers and NGO's to discuss the next steps to advance the EU strategy on AI.
In recent years, EU trade policy has become a true issue of debate in the civil society at national level: that shows the need to bring trade policy closer to EU citizens. EU Member States have different existing national structures, procedures and consultation methods, as well as ratification processes; however, citizens from most countries not always seem to be able to fully express their voices in national debates on trade policy. The objective of the event was that of a) assessing and examining the different kinds of consultation procedures that exist in the Member States; b) exploring how civil society and consultative structures, wherever they exist, are informed or consulted on negotiations and implementation of trade agreements, and c) promoting the experience of the EESC in the domain of the EU trade policy.
In September 2016, the EESC adopted an own-initiative opinion on "The rights of live-in care workers". It was a first policy document at the European level dealing with the sector of live-in care work in Europe. As follow-up to this initiative, the EESC will carry out 5 country visits to countries of origin and destination of live-in care workers (United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Poland) to deepen the research on labour and work conditions of these persons and the quality of care delivery. The findings will be presented in a report to be released by the EESC later in 2018.
Globally, inequality and poverty also have led to migration, fostering, inequality and tensions in the host countries.
Europe has reacted to these challenges by proclaiming the European pillar of social rights, a set of key principles aiming at a more social Europe. Its main purpose is to fight against inequality and poverty. The fight against inequalities is also linked to the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Hearing on Sustainable Finance - Ways forward after the Commission Action Plan
A sound system of financing sustainable growth, with a long-term approach, is the most important driver for restoring trust in the markets and connecting savings to sustainable investments, providing complementary sources of funding for SMEs and strengthening green and social infrastructure projects.
The challenges should be addressed harmoniously, through a joint effort by all, including actors in the financial sector, companies, citizens and authorities. It is also of utmost importance that in this field, the whole EU speaks with one voice and follows the same approach.
The European Year of Cultural Heritage is an excellent opportunity to understand how Europe’s rural cultural heritage is a prized asset which needs to be showcased alongside our urban heritage. The EESC opinion on the "Contribution of Europe’s Rural Areas to the 2018 Year of Cultural Heritage" will consider what measures are necessary to ensure sustainability of landscapes, habitats, species and human imprints. It will look at how to ensure initiatives that will add today's creativity to our heritage and improve co-operation between the rural and the urban, not least through promoting rural cultural tourism. It will also explore how innovation and digitalisation can contribute to capturing and promoting this heritage for all citizens and communities within and beyond Europe.
The EESC Study Group on the Inclusion of the Roma will be organising a public hearing on the issue of early school leaving within the Roma community. Education is considered the key for a better future. Yet the social exclusion they face, as well as certain regulatory measures, amongst others factors, affect negatively the education they receive.
This hearing will highlight the current situation with regard to early school leaving amongst the Roma. It will seek to identify factors which trigger this phenomenon and feature a discussion on initiatives and good practices which are being undertaken by civil society organisations as well as recommendations on how early school leaving can be prevented.
The EESC has been working on the topic of Social Economy Enterprises for the past decade and a dedicated permanent study group has been created in 2016. In view of the success of the European Day of Social Economy Enterprises in 2016 and 2017, it was proposed to organise a third edition of this event.