Wood as a building material has been rediscovered by the building industry. It offers amazing possibilities for a sustainable growth and local employment in Europe. Advantages for human health and wood cultures are put forward while external demand from third countries is putting the European industry at risk.
The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) has been the main framework for relations between the continents of Europe and Africa since 2007. Its goal is to develop a shared vision of the main global issues whilst simultaneously strengthening cooperation in a broad range of areas such as development, governance, human rights, trade, regional integration, food security and migration. To this end, meetings of EU-African economic and social stakeholders are held on a regular basis.
The event follows up on the Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion seminar that took place in September 2016. Following the arrival of large amounts of migrants from 2015 onwards, a large amount of non-traditional actors has initiated innovative ways to foster the inclusion of newcomers. Yet, this movement has struggled to bring on structural change. The event aims to reflect on how this field can mature in partnership with other stakeholders, with a particular focus on labour market inclusion.
As in previous years, the EESC was present at the yearly Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP23, which took place in Bonn, Germany, from 6-17 November 2017.
The European Commission and the EESC co-organize, on the sidelines of the Summit, an event on the role of the social economy in the future of work.
Industrial change and societal change are forged together. This is why, after 15 years as the direct successor of the European Coal and Steel Community Consultative Committee, the EESC's Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI) proposes not only to take a stock of past achievements, but also to review the way ahead as European industry and society together embark on the digital revolution.
The 5th meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform took place on 15 November 2017 in Kyiv. 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 – on the Progress in the implementation of Euro-integration reforms in the field of Science and Technology, and on The rights of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). A Joint Declaration was adopted at the end of the meeting to be forwarded to the EU-Ukraine Association Council, the Association Committee, the Parliamentary Association Committee and other relevant bodies both in Ukraine as well as in the EU.
The PSG on the inclusion of the Roma will in its hearing on 15 November deal with segregation in education of Roma. Roma are often placed in special schools for children with learning disabilities. The Commission has launched infringement procedures against the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary for school segregation As segregation has negative consequences on school attainment it severely affects the Roma though their entire life and maintain them in a situation of deprivation and poverty.
The implementation of the outcome of the Paris summit on climate change (COP21) is an important challenge and work priority for EU Institutions. This is the focus of the current climate-related work of the four co-pilots of the International Climate Governance Coalition (ICGC): EESC, CoR, OECD and Comité 21. This Coalition aims to facilitate dialogue and multi-stakeholder partnerships as means of accelerated, more efficient and inclusive implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The European Economic and Social Committee is organising a hearing as part of its follow-up work related to its opinion on Improving the effectiveness of EU policies for SMEs, adopted in July 2017.
The main objective of the hearing is to debate the effectiveness and efficiency of EU policies for SMEs and gather valuable input and feedback from Bulgarian stakeholders on the matter with a view to finding ways in which they can be improved. Particular emphasis will be put on the recommendations that have been outlined in the EESC opinion with the aim of implementing them at national level.