For the first time, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner paid visit to the EESC, the institutional representation of organised civil society in the EU institutional set-up.
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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 conference aims to raise the profile of trade as an essential means to secure growth and jobs in the current economic crisis, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy. The Conference will in particular look at the following issues: • Key trade-related issues, in particular those affecting Lithuania and neighbouring EU - and CIS - countries • Eastern Partnership: Progress of DCFTA negotiations • Maintaining Open and Fair Trade (Updating EU Trade Defence Instruments and related issues)
The EESC has recently commissioned a comparative study on "EU Member States' legislations and practices on food donations", with the objective to provide an overview of current legislation and practices as well as to identify hurdles and best practices. On 7 July 2014 the outcome of the study will be presented during an event with the EESC President and will result in President's conclusions and recommendations from organised civil society to facilitate food donation in Member States
The EESC will organise its Fifth Western Balkans Civil Society Forum in Belgrade on 2-3 June 2015. The main topics on the agenda are the perspectives for the EU-Western Balkans relations, transparency in the enlargement process, youth and employment, as well as the rights of minorities. It will bring together 150 participants, including representatives of Western Balkan civil society organisations, governments, the EESC and other EU institutions. A final declaration will be issued at the end of the event.
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.
The 7th Joint Seminar of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation (CCRF) will bring together EESC members and representatives of their Russian counterpart, representatives of the European Commission, experts and academics, to discuss cooperation in the areas of higher education and rural development. During four thematic sessions, participants will focus on EU-Russia cooperation in the fields of science, research and innovation; aligning higher education in the EU and Russia (the Bologna Process) and Erasmus+, on narrowing the gaps between rural and urban areas, and on cross-border cooperation for businesses and SMEs.
This conference of the Labour Market Observatory was hosted by CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training), in Thessaloniki.
This two-day event is jointly organised by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the University of Maastricht, together with the Permanent study group on Immigration and Integration (IMI) of the EESC.
Joint hearing of the "SMEs, Crafts and Liberal professions" Category and the study group REX/433 "TTIP and its impact on SMEs"