On 23 and 24 March, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted the 14th Your Europe, Your Say! (YEYS!) event, bringing 105 students from 35 schools from all 27 EU Member States and the seven candidate countries to Brussels. Given the many societal and economic challenges, a shrinking civic space and threats to peace and fundamental rights, this year's conference focused on "Youth Democracy Dialogues" and aimed to ensure that the voices of young people are heard when Europe's future is shaped.
On 23 March, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a plenary debate and adopted a resolution entitled "United for Democracy" with concrete proposals to strengthen democracies and democratic values across the European Union. Policymakers, experts, and organised civil society representatives agreed that civic education, better funding to social partners and a focus on the local dimension, are key to democracy in Europe.
At its March plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted Ambassador Lachezara Stoeva, president of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Ambassador Stoeva strongly supported the key role civil society must play in implementing the 2030 Agenda.
At its plenary session in March, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a debate with Italy's Minister of Labour and Social Policies, Marina Elvira Calderone, on making EU labour markets stronger and more inclusive. The EESC reiterated its support for the European Commission's proposal to strengthen national equality bodies, which are entrusted with promoting equality for all and combating discrimination in employment.
At the European Economic and Social Committee's March plenary, EESC President Christa Schweng and European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson reiterated the bloc's strong commitment to Europe's clean energy future.
As part of the European Year of Skills, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a conference on "Skills and talents as key drivers for personal fulfilment, economic growth and competitiveness" on 10 March to assess the needs and issue recommendations regarding skills development in the EU.
On International Women's Day 2023, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a debate on dismantling gender stereotypes in education, which are still stopping girls and young women from making their own study and career choices and achieving their full professional potential.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)'s Civil Society Days kicked off today with two sessions discussing how best to protect civic space in the EU against forces eating away at it, be it national governments or foreign powers.
As water scarcity and pollution continue to pose global challenges, the current EU policy framework seems insufficient. To address this, top-level water experts gathered on 27 February at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) to identify possible solutions. The hearing marks the beginning of the EESC's work on water.
Just one day before the anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted a resolution calling for Ukraine's swift accession to the EU in full respect of enlargement principles. The EESC supports establishing a special international tribunal on crimes of aggression against Ukraine, and points out that support to civil society must continue for "as long as it takes".