Press releases

  • Reference number
    25/02016

    "The European Citizens Initiatives (ECI) is an instrument for citizens to take a role in European policy making. After 5 years of experience we see it is not working properly. It is time for the European Commission to act upon the institutions recommendations" said Michael Smyth, EESC Vice-President in his introductory speech at the ECI DAY 2016 on 20 April in Brussels, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).  "Providing citizens with an effectively working instrument to voice their needs and concerns could have a tangible influence on European politics making it more targeted, relevant and in particular more democratic."

  • Reference number
    24/2016

    "Labour mobility is also sometimes associated with social and wage dumping, and the belief that mobile workers undertake 'welfare tourism'. That is an unfounded belief, and all studies show that mobile workers go where the jobs are, not to exploit social and public services," stated Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, EESC's Vice-President for Communication, speaking at the European Council's informal meeting of Ministers of social affairs and employment in Amsterdam today. Held under the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU, the ...

  • Reference number
    23/2016

    At the end of his official two-day visit to Tunisia, Georges Dassis, EESC president, signed an agreement consolidating the links between European and Tunisian civil society with Quartet representatives Mr Noureddine Taboubi, UGTT deputy secretary-general, Mr Slim Ghorbel, UTICA vice-president, LTDH vice-president Mr Ahmed Galai and ONAT head Mr Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoud.

    "I welcome this agreement which opens the way to support for the full involvement of Tunisian civil society in shaping the country’s policies and in pressing ahead with economic and social issues", said Georges Dassis.

    The signature of the agreement sends a positive signal to leaders on both sides of the Mediterranean. It confirms the key role of civil society in Tunisia's participatory democracy and in the country's relations with Europe, including the joint monitoring of the DCTFA (Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement), on which negotiations open next week.

    During his visit, Mr Dassis also met the ministers responsible for relations with civil society, vocational training issues and social affairs. He welcomed the importance attached to freedom of expression, democracy and the role of civil society.

  • Reference number
    22/2016

    Since the peak of the migration flow in 2015, the European Union has had to focus on operational and urgent responses to immediate challenges. However, a solid long-term migration policy needs to be developed to manage and accompany migration, as stated in the European Agenda on Migration. The second edition of the European Migration Forum (6-7 April), co-organised by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee, is tasked to translate civil society's feedback into a concrete migration policy for the European Union.

  • Reference number
    21/2016

    How are new forms of employment impacting workers? Is the total flexibility of workers and labour market desirable? Will the sharing economy be putting an end to Europe's social protection systems?

    Today's EESC public hearing, entitled "the changing nature of employment relationships, the sharing economy, zero-hour contracts and the living wage" discussed the growth of non-standard forms of employment in light of workers' protection.

  • Reference number
    20/2016

    Today, the EESC is releasing a study, entitled "The influence of Lifespan Labelling on Consumers", which clearly demonstrates the effect of lifetime labelling on consumer purchasing behaviour. And it's very clear: products labelled as long-lasting, such as suitcases and printers, would see a huge boost in sales, by 128 % and 70% respectively. Smartphones are markedly affected, with an increase of 41% on sales for products indicating a longer lifespan. Interestingly, the importance of the product lifetime to consumers increases in proportion to the amount consumers are prepared to spend.

  • Reference number
    20/2016

    Your Europe, Your Say! (YEYS) lived up to all expectations, as young people from the EU-28 and candidate countries shook things up with their enthusiasm and fresh ideas to help integrate migrants into European societies – the theme of this year’s event.

  • Reference number
    17/2016

    Closer cooperation needed to defeat terrorism, curb firearm access

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted today an opinion calling for the development of new tools to prevent radicalisation, as part of a broader EU anti-terrorism strategy, and for access to firearms to be significantly curbed. The opinion on the European Agenda on Security (Rapporteur: Cristian Pîrvulescu), responds to both the Commission’s EU Action Plan against illicit trafficking in and use of firearms and explosives, and a proposal for a Directive on combating terrorism. More

  • Reference number
    19/2016

    At its plenary meeting on 17 March 2016, the European Economic and Social Committee gave a clear message to the European Commission, calling on it to draw up conclusive proposals which go further in completing Europe's Economic and Monetary Union without delay. In a package of opinions, the Committee put forward the points of view of the social partners and civil society on the package of proposals for Deepening EMU which the Commission published at the end of last year.

  • Reference number
    18/2016

    Speaking at the EESC Plenary on 16 March 2016, Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, outlined her consultative approach to a common EU foreign and security policy, and the key contribution of civil society to a global strategy. More