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.
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.
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.
The European Economic and Social Committee and Cultura contro camorra are jointly organising a Series of Conferences, Debates and Events which will take place between 16-19 November 2015.
What is the role of civil society in the fight against organised crime?
How can we increase the use of confiscated assets for social and cultural purposes?
How can we combat the involvement of organised crime in trafficking of human beings?
The week for fighting organised crime aims to provide an answer to these questions through conferences, debates and cultural events with the participation of policy makers and representatives from European and national authorities and civil society.
In 2016 the EU-Africa Network of economic and social stakeholders will gather Nairobi (Kenya) on 6-7 July. This year the focus will be on:
• MIGRATION (follow-up to the Valletta Summit between EU and African heads of state, comparative of EU and African approaches to legal migration)
• CLIMATE CHANGE AND AGRICULTURE (how to facilitate socio-economic actors' access to financial resources to fight against climate change)
The EESC will organise a meeting bringing together the representatives of the employers, workers and various interests' group (particularly farmers) from both continents to reinforce cooperation among European and African socio-economic actors, raise awareness and improve knowledge of available sources of financing to tackle climate change and identify common strategies and possible partnerships.
The EESC Employers' Group is organising a seminar on "Strengthening European Growth and Competitiveness: Proactive Trade Agenda – NOW!" taking place on 26 October in Helsinki and jointly organized with the Confederation of Finnish Industries and the International Chamber of Commerce, ICC Finland.
Trade and Investment are hugely important for the EU: 1 in 7 EU jobs depend on exports. The EU cannot risk falling behind in the global race to build a wide and ambitious network of free trade agreements. The signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement (involving 12 countries and 40% of world GDP) is a timely reminder of this. This seminar, which will be attended by many of our Members together with Finnish employers and entrepreneurs, politicians and academics aims to examine how to best contribute positively to the debate as trade agreements (TTIP - TISA - CETA - EU-JAPAN) increasingly become a top political issue.
The Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC) meeting, devoted to youth, education and training, will be marked by the participation of DG Education and Culture Director General Martine Reicherts. Specific debates will be held on Education and Training 2020 Joint Report and EU Youth Report 2015.
The EESC and the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum are organising their 3rd joint seminar, on 23 November 2016, in Versailles. The objective of the seminar is to discuss topics of common interest for European and Russian civil society. On the agenda this year will be questions such as the current situation in which civil society in Russia and in the EU are operating, and questions relating to migration, specifically focusing on good practices and experiences in integrating newcomers into host societies.