Insularity is considered to be a permanent and unchangeable geographical feature which involves additional costs (transport, energy, waste management, public services, necessity goods and services) that hamper the development and competitiveness of the islands, while particularly exposing them to biodiversity loss and climate change. The organised civil society has an important role to play and tackle all these challenges and through this debate. The aim is to find the best practices and solutions so that EU islands can preform better and recover from the multiple crises.
The Workers' Group is organising a conference in Stockholm on 11/12 May, on the occasion of the Council of the European Union Swedish Presidency.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will be producing an own-initiative opinion on the main challenges faced by EU islands and mountainous and sparsely populated areas, which is scheduled for adoption at the EESC's September plenary session. In this context, the EESC, along with the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) and the North Sweden European Office (NSEO), will be holding a public hearing in Umeå (Sweden) on 4 May 2023 entitled "Challenges and opportunities that the digital and energy transitions present to the northern sparsely populated areas and islands. How can these regions become drivers for growth and development?". The hearing is an event under the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU.
With this debate, the ECO section is providing ex-ante input to the European Commission, in preparation for the upcoming 2023 strategic foresight cycle that wants to shed light on the strategic decisions needed to ensure a socially and economically sustainable Europe with a stronger role in the world in the coming decades.
On 11 October 2022, the Civil Society Organisations' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee will hold a conference under the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Reinventing the Moravian-Silesian Region in search of a socially just transition. This is an in-person event that will be streamed online.
The Workers' Group is organizing an extraordinary meeting in Prague focusing on the programme and priorities of the Czech EU Presidency and on the role of the social dialogue within the green transition.
The Workers' Group is organising an extraordinary meeting focusing on the need for fair minimum wages and strong collective bargaining to guarantee decent living conditions for all.
While Europe and its societies are still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the Conference on the Future of Europe in its closing stages, the EESC will be holding its annual Civil Society Days in March 2022.
On 14 March, the EESC NAT and INT Sections, the Fair Trade Advocacy Office and the Global Competition Law Centre of the College of Europe organise an online conference to continue the debate on how joint sustainability initiatives can be competition law compliant.