The 4th meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform took place on 18 May 2017 in Brussels. During the meeting, a debate was held assessing the state of play in the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, and two reports, prepared by both sides, were discussed and adopted.
The event focused on the response of European civil society to the insecure situation of migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe. The focus was on two issues: preventing the criminalisation of humanitarian assistance and introducing humanitarian admission programmes. As regards the first, panellists presented cases and testimonies of people and organisations punished for offering help to irregular migrants in need. The second panel looked at current practice and initiatives to promote access to Europe on humanitarian grounds or via resettlement. Participants shared their views on the European legislation in place at present and suggested how both public and private actors can give migrants and refugees in need a helping hand.
The European Union is the world's biggest producer of beet sugar and the principal importer of raw cane sugar for refining. EU sugar policy today is supported by three pillars: production quotas, a sugar reference threshold and trade measures (border protection). Production quotas will cease to exist as of 1 October 2017, which means that one of these pillars will fall. Another pillar – border protection – is looking increasingly shaky.
Under the auspices of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) organises meetings with ACP and EU economic and social interest groups. This role has been confirmed by the Cotonou Agreement, which mandates the EESC to organise consultation sessions and meetings of ACP and EU economic and social interest groups (Protocol 1).
Within this framework, the EESC organises general meetings in Brussels every three years, with delegates from the 78 ACP countries, together with representatives of the EU institutions, national economic and social councils, the secretariat of the ACP Group of States, EU and ACP states' diplomatic missions, NGOs and other interested parties. These general meetings are in addition to the regional seminars, which take place in the ACP regions once a year.
The EESC is drawing up an opinion on the Commission's recent communication dedicated to waste to energy. This public hearing aimed at gathering stakeholders' views on this critical aspect of the waste management and the transition towards a circular economy.
The European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee held a joint workshop on "the impact of digitalisation and new technologies on social economy". The workshop was was be organized around 4 panels. This joint event's purpose was to contribute to the work of the permanent study group on "Social Economy Enterprises", but also to strengthen synergies between the EESC and the Commission in promoting the social economy agenda.
On 11 and 12 May 2017, the Workers' Group held an extraordinary meeting in Malta, on the occasion of the Maltese Presidency, that focused among others on the priorities and programme of the Maltese Presidency, the economic and social situation in the host country and in the EU in general and the need to achieve a fairer EU trade policy for workers and citizens.
Growth and jobs remain an overarching priority for all EU Member States and for the EU as a whole. The Employers' Group of the EESC is organising an extraordinary Meeting in Malta on 11 may 2017 from 2pm to 5.30pm to reflect on EU's initiatives to mobilise private investment including the extension in time and financial capacity of the European Fund for Strategic Investment which is a priority file during the Maltese Presidency. The conference will also be the occasion to discuss the specific case of Malta which has been able to attract private sector investment in the presence of the Prime Minister, the Parliamentary Secretary for EU funds, representatives from Business, academics and other Maltese and European stakeholder.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is pleased to announce that a Public hearing on the Application of State aid rules for compensating the provision of services of general economic interest will be held on 10 May 2017 from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the headquarters of the EESC, 2 rue Van Maerlant - 1040 Brussels, Room VMA 3.
The main objective of the hearing is to brainstorm on the challenges and opportunities arising from the current State Aid rules for services of general economic interest.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has opened its doors to the general public
between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
This year, the EESC has focused on the future of Europe - while commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome – and talked about what the EU has achieved over the last 60 years : benefits of the citizens including free movement, single currency, research and innovations, environment, etc. and challenges for the future.
The Committee has showcased its work on economic and social policy for the European Union, its work on sustainable development and its efforts to support participatory democracy in Europe and throughout the world.