EESC President Dassis and Greek Prime Minister Tsipras at the EUROMED Summit 2016 in Greece

Euro-Mediterranean civil society expresses its view on key policies for the region

Faced with a greater need than ever to enhance dialogue between countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region, civil society organisations answered the invitation of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Greek Economic and Social Council to discuss their role in addressing the challenges in the region.

This was the main goal of the yearly Euromed summit of economic and social councils and similar institutions, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Economic and Social Council of Greece in Vravrona - Attica. Opened by the Greek Prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, it closed with the adoption of a common declaration, which underlines the conclusion of civil society representatives on topics such as the promotion of legal migration, social protection, the importance of women entrepreneurship and the inclusion of civil society organisations in the creation and implementation of crucial politics for the region such as climate change and the European neighbourhood policy.   

"In order not to treat only the symptoms of the problems, it is essential for the cooperation between the EU and the southern Mediterranean countries to be based on a true collaboration, one of equals, which include organised civil society effectively said Georges Dassis, EESC President in his introductory statement.

"The role of social partners and councils in promoting the acquis communautaire is of paramount importance", declared Alexis Tsipras, Greek Prime Minister

The topic of mobility was central to the Summit and the participants highlighted the importance of not only promoting legal migration to Europe but also ensuring that labour migrants have their social security rights protected during their career even if when they work in several countries. The key role that women can play in creating jobs in the Mediterranean region was also underlined.

The 21th edition of the Euromed Summit since the launch of the Barcelona Process, in 1995, gathered 140 participants in Greece, with more than 30 countries represented including all the countries from EU southern neighbourhood.

Acutely aware that the future of the European Union and of their countries is closely linked, the participants called for a greater involvement in this relationships underlining the expertise they can bring to policies, their role in the implementation, review and the follow up of policies that will address global and regional challenges.

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