On 5 December, the EESC organised a conference at the COP21 on "Putting a socially responsible price on carbon – a challenge for society", based on a study commissioned from the Syndex consultancy on Combating climate change: putting a price on carbon on the basis of economic and social criteria.
What are local governments and their communities doing to accelerate the sustainable energy transition towards 2030? What is the role and the potential of community-owned renewables for implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and in particular the COP21 Paris Agreement?These questions and more have been addressed by the conference organised in the context of the COP21 by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), ICLEI Europe, the French Economic Social and Environmental Council, and the Committee of the Regions (CoR).
This event was organised by the LMO and IMI together with the European Commission, in the context of the revision of the Blue Card directive.
The EU Blue Card Directive was adopted in 2009 to facilitate the admission and mobility of highly qualified migrants and their family members. Evaluations of the Blue Card's implementation identified a number of issues that may negatively affect the effectiveness of the Blue Card and hamper the attractiveness of the EU in the global competition for highly skilled workers. Therefore, the European Commission intends to present a proposal for a revised Directive in March 2016, as part of a wider package of measures on migration.
During the meeting, the EU Advisory Group presented its activities and communication tools, including the website, to the representatives of the Embassies of the Central American countries. It discussed progress in implementation of the Trade and Sustainable Development Title and proposals for follow-up actions to the joint meeting with Central American Advisory Groups held in May 2015. The Group discussed also with the Commission representatives preparation for the annual meeting with Central America planned for 2016. Moreover, the Commission representatives delivered a presentation about the EU programmes and projects for Central America, which are relevant for the Trade and Sustainable Development Title.
Chaired by President of Group III Luca Jahier, the conference called for an active involvement of civil society organisations in the Europe 2020 reform process. Using the example of the Grande Région which connects regions in Luxembourg, France, Germany and Belgium, the conference provided the opportunity to exchange views on how integrated cross-border strategies can directly contribute to achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The conference jointly organised at Le Bourget by associations of ESCs from Africa and the French-speaking world, together with the EESC and the French ESEC, seeks to demonstrate the importance of continuing to build solidarity between civil societies from the North and the South in this area.
In February 2015, the European Commission released its communication about the European Energy Union in which it outlines its plans to fundamentally transform Europe's energy system into a system that delivers secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy to European consumers. This public hearing focuses on a key aspect of this transformation, a new design for the energy market, as presented in a recent communication by the Commission. Are the suggested regulatory, technological, and financial measures fit to achieve this transformation, including the integration of decentralized generation and renewables into the energy system? Are they sufficient to empower and put the consumer "at the core" of the EEU?
The Euro-Mediterranean Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions aims at promoting greater understanding of the main issues affecting organised civil society in the Euromed region, discussing the role of civil society in relations with the European Union and enhancing mutual awareness of economic and social realities
On 30 November, the EESC, in cooperation with the Maltese Chamber of Commerce, is organising a conference on "EU industrial policy – does a one-size-fits-all approach work?" The implementation of the EU industrial policy will be discussed, with reference to topics such as innovation, internationalisation and governance. The conference will be an excellent opportunity to analyse the challenges facing Maltese industry in terms of competitiveness. In addition, the event will enable Malta's business and political representatives to speak out their needs and expectations from European and national industrial policies.
The 2015 seminar will not only look at how the EU communicates on development issues, but will also shine the spotlight on people in partner organisations working on development and how they use communication to achieve their goals.
We will look at DG DEVCO's storytelling communication campaign and at the work of civil society, journalists and other actors in communicating on development issues as well as the communication campaign for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).