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Successful European citizen initiatives must trigger dialogue and proper follow-up at EU level
Six years after the introduction of the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) with barely any impact on EU legislation, the constructive criticism, particularly from the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and other institutions such as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman, is finally beginning to bear fruit, tempting the European Commission to review this important instrument of participative democracy.
This year's Civil Society Days will take place right after the plenary session at which the European Economic and Social Committee celebrates its 60th anniversary.
The focus of this Civil Society Days will be on fostering the current debate about the future of Europe and on highlighting the role across Europe of the civil society organisations which come together in the EESC to represent "Europe at work".
In line with this twofold emphasis, the CivSocDays 2018 will address Europe at work in relation to a dimension which has permeated our everyday working and living environment and will affect and shape our future, as well as the future of Europe: the digital world.
Following the new European Commission proposal of September 2017, the European citizens' initiative has new wind in its sails. It now faces a lot of changes, many of which may greatly simplify administrative and organizational burdens. These changes will soon be discussed in the three-way consultations between the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council.
The ECI DAY 2018 will seize the moment and offer a first-hand insight into the positions of the three legislators, represented respectively by the First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, the European Parliament general rapporteur György Schöpflin and the 2018 Council Presidency ministers / state secretaries from Bulgaria and Austria.
This leaflet provides an overview of the Liaison Group's activities in 2017.
The study carried out by the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) aims to provide an analysis of the current consultation practices at the European Commission as well as to examine the potential of an intermediary body, such as the EESC, and organised civil society, in improving this tool for participatory democracy in the EU.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) play an important role in fostering participatory democracy and active citizenship in Europe and beyond; EU funding is paramount to support this work. The goal of this EESC hearing is to present working solutions and come up with recommendations for revised financial regulations and the future Multiannual Financial Framework after 2020 that would enable better civil dialogue and easier and transparent access to resources.
The event will focus on the role of civil society in preventing radicalisation of young people. The debates will serve to clarify how EU policy-makers can help civil society practitioners to successfully prevent radicalisation. The first panel will cover different elements of anti-radicalisation policy, focusing on what is needed to increase success rates. The second panel will focus on the role of education in preventing radicalisation. Participants will share their view on what can be done to render more effective existing civil society initiatives aiming to prevent radicalisation.
On 26-27 June, the EESC, joining forces with other civil society organisations and European institutions, hosted the annual Civil Society Days. This major gathering of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from across Europe provided strong civil society input to the reflection on the future of Europe launched by the Commission with its "White Paper on the future of Europe". A forceful call was made for a new political impetus to relaunch the EU on the basis of our fundamental values and also to express a clear commitment by civil society organisations to forge ahead.