The Various Interests' Group of the EESC, chaired by its President Luca Jahier, organised a conference in Manchester on Tuesday 8 March entitled ‘The UK in the EU: What Is In It For Us?’
The UK's future role and membership of the EU is without doubt one of the most important political issues to be debated in the next few months at both the national and European levels. The decision of EU Member States in December 2015 to “…work closely together to find mutually satisfactory solutions in all four areas at the European Council meeting on 18-19 February 2016”, has increased the time pressure and placed the topic squarely in the public domain. Arguably, the grass-roots movements and civil society initiatives which are springing up throughout the UK, either in favour of or against EU membership, are prime examples of the active citizenship that the EESC has espoused for decades.
Within this context, the objectives of the conference included:
- To engage with, listen to and learn from British civil society and citizens;
- To provide a forum for local civil society organisations, citizens, the media, economic and social actors to come together and openly debate the pros and cons of continued membership of the EU;
- To demonstrate that the EESC and European civil society recognise the importance of the topic and that the decision of the UK referendum will have direct repercussions for both the UK and other EU Member States.
Rezidor Park Inn Hotel
4 Cheetham Hill Road
Manchester M4 4EW