The opinion will set out civil society's perspective on the dual challenge which EU Member States face in dealing with recent waves of immigrants and at the same time fulfilling - or in some cases failing to fulfil - their duty in guaranteeing immigrants' human rights, be it in detention or whilst on high seas. This issue is particularly topical since the European Commission and European Court of Justice are coming increasingly under pressure to act against Member States that fail to meet EU rules.
Relations between the EU and its southern neighbours constitute one of our priorities. Our work covers a wide variety of areas, such as the participation of civil society in political and civil dialogue, democratic transition, youth employment, sustainable development, mobility and immigration, trade, renewable energy and business development.
The EESC has been working on these issues since 1995. Following changes in the region in 2010, we have adjusted our objectives accordingly, aiming to:
- Support civil society organisations in countries undergoing transition. Such support is targeted, in particular, at trade unions and employers’ organisations, as well as women’s, youth and farmers’ associations.
- Maintain bilateral relations with national economic and social councils in the region, and work towards creating conditions for the inclusion of civil society in political dialogue in the southern partner countries.
- Issue opinions and joint reports on the key policy challenges facing the region.
- Hold regular meetings with European institutions and international organisations to discuss the policies concerning civil society across the region.
- Organise an annual summit for economic and social councils and similar institutions, at which key policy recommendations on the region’s main challenges are put to policy-makers from national governments and the EU.
The exploratory opinion is being drawn up at the request of the Greek Presidency of the European Union. Immigration-related issues remain a key challenge for the European Union and its Member States with a comprehensive and common strategy at EU level remaining elusive, in spite of the continued pressures that are being felt on the EU's borders.
20 years after the pledge of Barcelona was taken to promote the peace, stability and security of the region, it is time for the states from the Euro-Mediterranean region to put this pledge into practice. The participants to the yearly Euromed summit of economic and social councils and similar institutions, organised by the EESC in Brussels adopted a common declaration ...
Euro-Mediterranean civil society expresses its view on key policies for the region
Faced with a greater need than ever to enhance dialogue between countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region, civil society organisations answered the invitation of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Greek Economic and Social Council to discuss their role in addressing the challenges in the region.
More than a hundred civil society representatives from Union for the Mediterranean member countries met on 13 and 14 December in Madrid, Spain, to discuss the challenges facing the region. The 2017 Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions focused on economic, social and cultural rights, social protection and a new generation of women's rights in the Mediterranean region.
2018 Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and similar institutions
Faced with a greater need than ever to enhance dialogue between countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region, civil society organisations answered the invitation of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Greek Economic and Social Council to discuss their role in addressing the challenges in the region. This was the main goal of the yearly Euromed summit of economic and social councils and similar institutions, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Economic and Social Council of Greece in Vravrona - Attica.