The EESC and representatives from the Ukrainian civil society will meet in Kyiv in order to complete the setting up of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform. This will be one of the joint bodies of the Agreement together with the Association Council, the Association Committee, and the Parliamentary Association Committee. It will provide a forum for the civil society representatives to meet and to monitor the implementation of the Association Agreement. The EU side of the Platform will be composed of 9 EESC members and 6 observers from other large EU level civil society organizations. The Ukrainian side, for a transition period, will unite 26 representatives from all civil society sectors. The Platform will meet twice a year, alternatively in Brussels and in Ukraine, and will discuss issues and prepare reports on topics deemed important by both sides in the implementation process of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
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The EESC's engagement with civil society organisations in Russia is governed by the five guiding principles for EU-Russia relations agreed between EU foreign ministers and the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. One of these guiding principles is "support for people-to-people contacts".
Dialogue and the exchange of experiences between civil society representatives from the EU and Russia contribute in a significant way to the continued implementation of the EU-Russia Strategic Partnership. The EESC has adopted a two-stranded approach to its relations with Russian civil society in order to engage with as wide a range of civil society representatives as possible. On the one hand, it maintains relations with the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, its official Russian counterpart, and organises – amongst other things – annual joint seminars on topics of interest to civil society on both sides. The EESC's other partner is the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, which brings together a different set of civil society organisations.
The EU-Russia Follow-up Committee is an internal EESC body, which acts as a steering group, and is responsible for developing and maintaining relations and organising meetings and joint seminars with civil society in Russia.
The event gathered all main national social partners (business federations and trade unions from the 28 Member States) for a full-day debate on the opportunities and challenges of TTIP for the social partners. The meeting allowed for discussion on concrete topics via plenary sessions and parallel panels. The overall objective of the conference was to inform social partners at the national level about the different aspects of TTIP, to promote a balanced exchange of views and experiences between these different national groups aimed at reaching some common understanding on the TTIP and its repercussions.
In its own-initiative opinion, the EESC is looking at the efficiency of the efforts, funded from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), in tackling poverty and social exclusion in Europe – as one of the Europe 2020 strategy's most important goals.
The aim of this hearing is to collect specific observations and recommendations based on the experiences of civil society organisations with the implementation of the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) for combating poverty and social exclusion.
The 6th joint seminar is a part of existing format of cooperation between the EESC and the Civic Chamber of Russian Federation under which one joint seminar is organized each year. Following the last Joint Declaration of the 5th joint seminar, the two main topics which have been addressed during the 6th seminar are human rights and trade. The conclusions of the seminar have been sent to relevant institutions prior to the next EU-Russia Summit scheduled for mid-2013.
A public hearing will take place on 7 November, in the context of the EESC project on "Better Inclusion of the Roma community through civil society organisations".
A special focus will be put on education, employment and housing strands of the EU Framework for Roma Integration.
With the SOC Section's support, EAPN will present its assessment of the 2015 NRPs and debate with 150 stakeholders two key questions:
- What needs to be done to ensure that the European Semester delivers on its Europe 2020 commitments to reduce poverty and promote participation?
- How to help the EU move forward on a social, sustainable and democratic strategy that could give hope and restore faith in the EU?
Speakers: Commissioner Thyssen, Outi Slotboom (DG ECFIN), Raquel Lucas (Commissioner Dombrovskis Cabinet), Sergio Prieto (MEP) and Tom Dominique (SPC Chair).
Ahead of the international Roma Day on 8 April, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will hold a hearing on "Anti-gypsyism, possible responses", which will feed into the work of the EESC permanent study group on Roma inclusion monitoring the implementation the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies.
Anti-gypsyism is an important barrier to the effective implementation of the framework and national integration strategies, and the hearing wants to shed light on possible responses to this cross-cutting problem. The European refugee crisis acerbates problems with general racism, xenophobia which also affects Roma. A hearing on anti-gypsyism and other forms of racism and xenophobia will allow exchanging best practices on how to combat these phenomena.
Conference on Employability of young people - matching training with industry needs in age of austerity
The Round table with policy makers and stakeholders will take place in Brussels on 12 November 2014 9 am -5 pm.
Venue: European Economic and Social Committee, Van Maerlant Building (Room VM1), 2, rue Van Maerlant
The European Integration Forum – the dialogue platform on integration of immigrants – met for the ninth time on 4-5 June 2013 in the EESC premises. The theme of this meeting was: 'The integration of young migrants in the European society'.