Economic, social and cultural rights in the Euro-Mediterranean region (own-initiative opinion)

EESC opinion: Economic, social and cultural rights in the Euro-Mediterranean region (own-initiative opinion)


  • The importance for civil society to have an institutionalized consultative role and, where institution such as ESCs exist, the importance to support them and, where they don't exist, to work in order to create a space for civil society to have a voice in the political process.
  • Women are victims of gender stereotypes which reproduce political, economic and educational barriers with serious consequences for society’s development. The EESC calls for steps to be taken to narrow the enormous gaps between legislation and reality. Moreover, in order to strengthen rights, the EESC recommends involving local authorities in the various activities carried out by organisations, economic and social actors, civil society and their gender equality networks.
  • The EESC urges the European Commission and the member states of the Union for the Mediterranean to promote intercultural and interfaith dialogue, cultural heritage, artistic expression and creative industries as culture is a driver in addressing the multiple causes of the threat of violent extremism.
  • The EESC underlines that economic, labour and social rights are essential for economic development and a democratic society. These rights include free enterprise, freedom of association and of industrial action, collective bargaining, and social protection in areas such as health, education and old age.
  • In the view of education as one of the main vehicle for social and economic development, and the fact that unequal educational opportunities put the region’s stability and security at risk, the EESC calls for joint efforts to improve the quality of primary and secondary education, higher education and vocational training through the exchange of experience on curriculum development and innovative methodology.
  • The EESC considers it essential to close the knowledge gap between the two shores of the Mediterranean and, to this end, proposes the promotion of joint knowledge and research networks to facilitate the transfer and circulation of knowledge and the mobility of teachers, students, academics and researchers as well as support for the translation of their work, especially from and into Arabic
  • Non-formal education is a vital additional element given the valuable role it plays in shaping more inclusive and pluralistic societies. The EESC believes that the synergies between formal and non-formal education should be stepped up.
  • Support is needed for the digital and technological integration of people. To this end, the EESC underlines the need to promote local and regional projects that empower citizens with regards to the use of new technologies, entrepreneurship and digitalisation, together with the need to strengthen initiatives aimed at citizen participation, promotion of digital training and the creation of decent jobs.