The world is facing a climate emergency causing unprecedented economic, social and environmental challenges. Ambitious policy and action are necessary at all levels to accelerate a just transition to a sustainable future, while leaving no one behind. This is particularly relevant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed the fragility of the current system.
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At a time when citizens are demanding broader involvement in shaping European policies, the EESC Civil Society Days are intended to be a public forum to connect European citizens, civil society organisations and European institutions for a debate about the defining task of our times and the most pressing challenge for Europe, namely "keeping our planet and people healthy". In other words, putting the European economy and society as well as the planet on a more sustainable path.
At this event, different stakeholders will discuss the need of a fair and just transition and a European Green Deal that leave no one behind. This transition means that the most vulnerable members of society, as well as regions and territories that are in the need of special consideration, have to be involved in decision-making. These aspects will be addressed by the panellists in an interactive discussion.
The event aims to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the European Union in the post-2020 era. The discussions will focus on the programme of the new European Commission, which will be taking up office in just a few weeks' time. The speakers will also exchange views on a wide range of topical issues, such as the challenges posed by new technologies, Brexit, sustainable development and the development of Europe’s Green Deal. The event will be addressed by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Chris Fearne and by leading local business representatives and stakeholders in the European institutions.
On 15 October, the Consumers and Environment Category of the EESC held its public event on the topic 'New EU goals and policies for sustainable development - Joint perspective of consumers and environmentalists'.
The conference highlighted the position taken by the EESC in its opinion on the Reflection Paper "Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030", which was due for adoption in September 2019. The event provided concrete and constructive recommendations to the new European Commission and the new European Parliament.
As in previous years, the EESC was present at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), from Tuesday, 16 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019. The HLPF is the United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
On 16 September, the Diversity Europe Group held its Extraordinary meeting in Helsinki (Finland) - at the Auditorium (Annex Building of the Parliament).
The meeting entitled Boosting EU competitiveness – 3 pillars for sustainable growth will mainly focussed on bioeconomy and climate neutral Europe, digitalization and infrastructure in transport sector.
This public hearing will look at ways to implement the 17 SDGs by addressing social concerns in full synergy with environmental and economic ones, reducing social inequalities and more fairly distributing the burden of transformation towards a sustainable Europe.
The NAT Section will hold a debate on "Circular Economy Strategies and Roadmaps: Cooperation and Inclusion" at its meeting of 23rd May.