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The Dutch Presidency has requested an exploratory opinion about the shift from the traditional employment relationship to more non-standard forms of employment, introduced among others by online platforms like Uber. The EESC is to examine the link between new forms of employments relationships to a decent living wage and make policy recommendations as to how to take full advantage of digital innovation but regulate and mitigate the effects in terms of labour law protection and social protection.


On 30 March 2016, the EESC's TEN Section project delegation conducted a study visit in Genoa to discover some of the very inspiring smart city initiatives that have been implemented there. The Municipality of Genoa is investing in its ‘vision’ of a city able to recognise and manage its own unique complexities, through the implementation of an intelligent, integrated and sustainable urban system, which identifies and enhances its own cultural, economic, productive and environmental characteristics, thus helping to develop a compatible and attractive natural urban fabric. Genoa has an ‘experimental’ vocation and sees itself as a laboratory in which to develop an innovative and technological approach designed to meet the city’s real needs, including in partnership with other Smart Cities.


On 30th March, the EESC's External Relations Section (REX) will hold a public hearing on the external dimension of EU's energy policy at its headquarters (Jacques Delors building) in Brussels.

The experts and representatives of civil society and EU institutions will discuss the key topics concerning the EU energy policy, including the diversification of energy sources and the completion of the single energy market.



The hearing will gather representatives of international organisations, national governments, private sector, trade unions and other stakeholders. The participants will discuss matters related to decent work in global supply chains thus contributing to work on the EESC Opinion on the same subject.




The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are the European Union’s main investment policy tool for 2014-2020, and the implementation of the programmes they fund is just starting. It is within this context that the European Economic and Social Committee is organising a Public Hearing on Maximising the contribution of the ESIF on 22 March 2016 from 10 am to 1pm, at its premises in Brussels.

The aim of this event is to bring together representatives of European Institutions, civil society organisations as well as other experts in the field to discuss ideas which could enrich the EESC opinion – currently being drawn up – intending to give recommendations on how to use more effectively these substantial resources.


The Energy Union has been identified as one of the ten key priorities of the current European Commission. This ambitious policy programme – with the aim of creating a European energy system that delivers secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy to Europe's citizens – has been launched in February 2015 and has already resulted in various policy initiatives.


From 17 to 19 March 2016, the EESC welcomed 99 students and 33 teachers from the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) and the five candidate countries for EU accession, for the seventh edition of Your Europe, Your Say! This event  gave these young people a chance to see how EESC decision-making works and debate some of the key social and political issues currently faced by Europe.

This year, young people debated on migrants in Europe - the topic of Your Europe, Your Say! They had a chance to speak to policy-makers about better asylum rules and make practical suggestions regarding integration that could be taken up in their own community. 

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515th Plenary Session, with the following debates :

The external policy of the Union and the role of organised civil society, with  F. Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-president of the European Commission followed by The European Agenda on Migration, in conjunction with the presentation of the report of the ad hoc group on Migration and refugees, with D. Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship


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