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Active involvement of civil society is crucial, says EESC

As the Commission is getting ready to publish the second edition of the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) next year, the EESC highlights that poor, fragmented and uneven implementation of the EU environmental legislation is a serious problem in many EU Member States. Current shortcomings in implementation of EU environment protection measures are undermining people's trust in the effectiveness of EU legislation. Ensuring proper implementation of the EU's environmental law must therefore become a priority for the EU and Member States, e.g. through adequate financing and stronger involvement of civil society.


A lot is already happening on the ground for the implementation of the SDGs – both as top-down goals with governments and institutions providing the driving force and as bottom-up initiatives by non-state actors and civil society. National and local sustainable development strategies, which are successfully involving civil society, were presented at one of a series of events on this topic at the EESC last week. However, an overarching European strategy, which would provide the coherence and guidance needed for the implementation of the SDGs at national and local level, is still missing.


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Although industry 4.0 is still a relatively new concept, many experts are already announcing a fifth industrial revolution that will bring about a new paradigm of cooperation and interaction between humans and machines. This is one of the main conclusions of the conference on industry 5.0 organised by the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 22 November.


Statement by Luca Jahier, President of the European Economic and Social Committee
On 25 November the EU Heads of State signed the Withdrawal Agreement after nearly two years of exhausting and complex negotiations. They agreed on a compromise based on a balance of rights and obligations, and close cooperation, that takes due account of the unique relation between the United Kingdom and the European Union after over 45 years of integration.


Le CESE organise une conférence à Bucarest sur l’importance d’engager un véritable dialogue avec la jeune génération européenne au sujet de l’UE

Le 13 novembre dernier, le Comité économique et social européen (CESE) a organisé une conférence intitulée «L’Union européenne expliquée aux jeunes: parlons de l’Europe!». Cette manifestation se tenait en marge de la réunion extraordinaire du Bureau du CESE à Bucarest, alors que la Roumanie s’apprête à assumer la présidence du Conseil de l’Union européenne.


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The EU and Japan signed on 17 July 2018 an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that will boost growth and create a free trade area with a combined market of around 640 million consumers. This is the first EPA signed by the EU which includes specific commitments related to the fight against climate change, and the EESC and its Japanese counterparts will be responsible to monitor its social and environmental impact.


The "LEONARDO: rEUnaissance today" project will be launched on 16 and 17 November in Rome. The project is a concrete expression of the slogan of the Presidency of Luca Jahier: "rEUnaissance" which is closely linked to one of the Presidency priorities: Culture. In a challenging time in European politics, and before the crucial European elections of May 2019, the EESC President looks to the Renaissance era for an inspiration for a positive narrative for the European Union of today. 


Rudy De Leeuw, member of the EESC, rapporteur of the opinion on the European finance-climate pact voted in the plenary session in October 2018, affirmed during a meeting on 8 November with journalists that Europe needs to do more in terms of budget and investments to fight the climate change and its effects. But far from being a burden, this challenge has also a positive side: "The finance-climate pact is a necessity, but also an opportunity for Europe". 


Interview by Luca Jahier to SERVIMEDIA

El presidente del Comité Económico y Social Europeo (CESE), Luca Jahier, destaca que “gracias a la ONCE, las personas con discapacidad han dejado de ser receptoras de ayuda para convertirse en protagonistas de su futuro”, un modelo que “la hace pionera en Europa, y que después tantas otras organizaciones han copiado”.