On 18 May 2022, the Diversity Europe Group (Group III) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) decided unanimously to change its name to "Civil Society Organisations' Group". The change of name enters into force with immediate effect.
Séamus Boland, President of the Civil Society Organisations' Group, said:
The economic and financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and now the war in Ukraine, have demonstrated that civil society organisations actively contribute to the resilience and sustainability of our communities. They bring solutions to challenges, they defend our European values and are essential for the implementation of effective policies. Civil society organisations are key players for a sustainable future and must be recognised as such.
Within this context, the Group has decided to change its name, in order to provide stakeholders with more clarity about its composition and mission.
The change of name is especially timely, in the light of the publication of the final report on the outcome of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The report proposes strengthening existing structures, to better reflect the needs and expectations of EU citizens in the decision-making process and further states:
Within this framework, enhance the institutional role of the EESC and empower it as facilitator and guarantor of participatory democracy activities like structured dialogue with civil society organisations and Citizens’ panels.
The Civil Society Organisations' Group is one of the three groups that make up the EESC. In line with the changes introduced in the Lisbon Treaty, Group III is made up of
other representatives and stakeholders of civil society, particularly in the economic, civic, professional and cultural field. Its members are drawn from organisations representing the following fields:
- Academia (natural scientists, economists, sociologists, etc.)
- Citizens’ Participation and Empowerment
- Civil Society Development
- Environment, Heritage & Sustainable Development
- Farming, Fisheries and Coastal Communities, Forestry
- Human Rights’ Protection (Issues concerning children, elderly, families, gender equality, marginalised and underprivileged groups, migrants and refugees, minorities, persons with disability, women and youth)
- Liberal Professions (lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc.)
- Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Crafts
- Social Economy (charities, cooperatives, foundations, mutual societies and social enterprises)
During the 2020-2023 Presidency, the Civil Society Organisations' Group focuses its work on 'Poverty and the role of civil society organisations in combatting it'.
Find out more about the Group on the EESC website.