Press releases

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    The representatives of Tunisian civil society, winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, reminded of their commitment to close cooperation with civil society in the European Union's countries

    Five years after the Jasmin Revolution that toppled an authoritarian regime and its President, the representatives of the “Tunisian quartet” presented their analysis of the country's current situation to the plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). Tunisia stands out from a number of aspects: A unique governance model based on the vibrant forces of civil society, an example of peace in a region torn apart by violence and civil war, an economic challenge in terms of employment for a country overwhelmingly made up of young people.

  • ©SHUTTERSTOCK/Vaclav Volrab
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    The new energy market design, a new deal for energy consumers and energy efficiency labelling were part of an ENERGY package of three opinions voted on by the European Economic and Social Committee at its plenary session on 20 January 2016.

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    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has pronounced itself in favour of a simple, transparent and standardised securitisation system in Europe. While Europe is still feeling the aftershock of the 2008 financial crisis, triggered by an uncontrolled and runaway securitisation system in the US, why is this now back on the table? Because a new securitisation system in Europe can still be secure, given certain conditions, and can create growth through the unlocking of additional credit.

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    On 14-15 January, four projects funded by the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development held a conference in Brussels, co-hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee, to present their findings, conceptual developments, concrete messages and policy recommendations on Responsible Research and Innovation.

    Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is the ongoing process of aligning research and innovation to the values, needs and expectations of society[1]. It is one of the specific and cross-cutting objectives of Horizon 2020, the EU's biggest ever Research and Innovation Programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years. The four projects Great, ProGReSS, ResAGorA and Responsibility, together known as the Go4 projects, have the common objective of improving our understanding of the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation and developing approaches, tools and mechanisms to facilitate the uptake of RRI across Europe and beyond.

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    33 schools from across Europe selected to come to Brussels to discuss migration

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has selected 33 secondary schools from across Europe to participate in this year's edition of Your Europe Your Say! which will take place in Brussels on 17-19 March 2016. One school from each of the 28 EU Member States and the 5 candidate countries, for the first time from Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey, were chosen from over 400 applications.

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    A delegation from the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) was in Austria from 15 to 16 December to learn about the work of various civil society organisations helping to deal with the influx of refugees.

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    A civil society delegation from the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) today began a series of 12 country visits with a three day visit to Greece in order to hear first-hand from civil society organisations working on the ground with the migration and refugee situation. The delegation will gather information in order to inform possible coping strategies for the influx of refugees and to establish a set of best practices and policies which can contribute to a seamless process of reception, relocation or integration of refugees.

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    80 million people live with disability in the EU – new European Accessibility Act published in December

    The European Economic and Social Committee, partnering with the United Nations in Brussels, today heard from two very special achievers about the day to day realities of living with disability.  Taking place just after the publication of the new EU Accessibility Act (, Gerardo and Antonio (represented by his father) attended a special hearing to tell the EESC about their wonderful journey in life and what they had achieved in completing the Camino de Santiago while living with the day to day challenges of severe disability. Partnering with the United Nations Information Centre (UNRIC) and the UN Office on Human Rights, the EESC also hosted a special Cine ONU screening of the film "El desorden de los sentidos" (Disorder of the senses) with the film's protagonists and producers

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    Europe needs a truly common European asylum system with harmonised procedures throughout Europe. In the current complex situation, Europe needs to secure its borders in a European rather than a national effort while at the same time assisting asylum seekers outside the EU. Moreover, it has to put in place an effective immigration policy which is transparent, clearly outlining who will have a chance to immigrate and welcoming those newcomers by supporting their start in the respective EU Member State.

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    The five winning initiatives present snap-shots of what is being done by thousands of voluntary groups and NGOs across Europe. Each of the projects tackles the 2015 theme “Combating poverty” in its own way and demonstrates that poverty undermines all aspects of well-being in society, including education, long-term health, housing, access to employment and family relationships.

    "In awarding the 2015 Civil Society Prize, the EESC rewards outstanding initiatives aimed at combating poverty in Europe by improving economic and social inclusion. I am proud to be able to congratulate the honourable winners of the 2015 EESC Civil Society Prize on their achievements. I also take this opportunity to commend, on behalf of all my colleagues representing European civil society vis-a vis the institutions, all the women and men fighting courageously to alleviate suffering, to reduce the impact of poverty – or banish it altogether –  in their own countries", said the EESC President George Dassis.