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As part of the work done towards the drafting of opinion REX/463 The New EU Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, the EESC has organized a hearing in order to obtain input and debate on the role of civil society in the new strategy being drafted.  Participants will include representatives from the main civil society organizations in Europe as well as academics working on the subject.  A draft Opinion will be made available which may serve as a basis for discussion.

03/03/2016

The European Energy Union (EEU) is one of the key priorities of the European Commission. Launched in early 2015, the EEU programme has already resulted in various initiatives. Specifically, the public hearing will – from a stakeholder and expert perspective – be examining whether the governance process underlying the Energy Union programme is inclusive enough and how a wider set of participants may improve governance quality.

02/03/2016

During the meeting, the representative of the European External Action Service (EEAS) presented information about the EU relations and cooperation with Central America. Based on the Second Annual Report, the Commission representative provided information about the implementation of the trade pillar of the Association Agreement, changes in trade flows and work of joint bodies established by the Agreement. The EU Advisory Group discussed also preparations for the next meeting with Central America under the Trade and Sustainable Development Title, as well as the ways to better communicate its activities to the Central American partners and other relevant stakeholders.

01/03/2016

On 25 February 2016, the EESC's TEN Section project delegation carried out a study visit in Eindhoven to gain first-hand knowledge of some of the extremely interesting smart city projects that have been set up in the city.

The delegation learned about the "Living Lab Stratumseind" and "Triangulum" projects.

25/02/2016

During the meeting, the EEAS representative presented information about the EU relations with the Republic of Korea. The European Commission updated participants on the implementation of the EU-Korea FTA and its trade and sustainable development chapter. It also presented the state of play and the next steps in the ex-post evaluation of the agreement as well as the preparation of joint projects with Korea. The EU DAG also had the opportunity to discuss with a Member of the European Parliament the work of the civil society monitoring mechanism in the framework of the EU-Korea FTA. The EU DAG discussed moreover amendments to its rules of procedure and lessons learned from its first mandate (2012-2015) and proceeded to elect the Chair for the new term. Preparatory discussions were held in view of the next EU-Korea Civil Society Forum due to take place in Brussels, in the second semester of 2016.

24/02/2016

The Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), between the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the EU was signed in 2000, and it will expire in February 2020. This agreement contains trade, aid and development mechanisms that link 79 nations in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific with the EU as a whole.

The EESC is involved in this consultation through the referral sent by the Commission and has therefore been tasked with the preparation of an opinion on the Commission's Green Paper.

To prepare for the post-Cotonou framework, the Commission has launched a public consultation process by publishing in October 2015 a Green Paper on the Future of EU's relations with ACP Group of countries.

The EESC is involved in this consultation through the referral sent by the Commission and has therefore been tasked with the preparation of an opinion on the Commission's Green Paper.

22/02/2016

The Labour Market Observatory (LMO) of the European Economic and Social Committee organised a public seminar on “Integrating refugees into the labour market: turning the crisis into an opportunity” on Monday, 22 February 2016 from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at the EESC in Brussels.

22/02/2016

EESC's public hearing on the European Citizens Initiative in the context of the ongoing review process. Questions to be tackled: policy areas covered by the ECI and the validation process; the current political limits to participatory democracy on a European level; the role of the EU institutions and Member States in the process and a better defined support.

22/02/2016

514e Plenary Session, with the following debates :

17/02/2016 18/02/2016

The 2nd meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform took place on 11 February 2016 in EESC premises in Brussels. During the meeting, a debate was held assessing the state of play in the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, and two reports, prepared by both sides, were discussed and adopted – on energy policy and on the rule of law, with a focus on fight against corruption. A Joint Declaration was adopted at the end of the meeting to be forwarded to the EU-Ukraine Association Council, the Association Committee, the Parliamentary Association Committee and other relevant bodies both in Ukraine as well as in the EU.

11/02/2016

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