The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is pleased to announce the 23 winners of its Civil Solidarity Prize, a one-off contest launched as an alternative to the annual EESC Civil Society Prize to reward not-for-profit initiatives carried out by individuals, civil society organisations or private companies to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and its manifold consequences. The awards ceremony took place as a fully remote event on 15 February 2021.
The TEN Section held a high-level roundtable on the Renovation Wave Strategy on 11 February 2021 at the occasion of the adoption of its draft opinion TEN/723 A Renovation Wave for Europe by Pierre Jean COULON, Rapporteur and Mr Laurentiu PLOSCEANU, Co-Rapporteur.
Equality and non-discrimination are fundamental rights and core values in the EU, enshrined in its Treaties and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. "Equal opportunities" is also the first chapter of the European Pillar of Social Rights. However, the Council of the EU continues to block the 2008 Commission proposal for an Equal Treatment Directive, which covers discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Having requested a referral to produce an opinion on this strategy, the EESC is starting by organising a remote public hearing on Thursday 11 February 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 13:00 p.m. to evaluate how the LGBTIQ community continues to be discriminated against and to collect views on how to effectively tackle such discrimination – not only across all EU policies and funding programmes, but also at all other levels and in all domains. Only a cross-cutting approach will solve this problem.
This civil society platform between the EESC and civil society in Serbia was established within the institutional framework of the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) in order to allow civil society organisations on both sides to monitor the country's accession negotiations.
557th Plenary session, with the following guests: António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission, Ylva Johansson, Commissioner for Home Affair, Michel Barnier , Head of the European Commission's Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom and Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. You will be able to follow the debates by web streaming.
Europe is facing the greatest crisis in decades, in terms of public health, but also in economic and social ones. Overcoming it will only be possible with a strong social agenda.
The EU-Chile Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) held its sixth meeting on 21 January 2021.
The members of the JCC reiterated the need to maintain the Joint Consultative Committee in the Chile-UE Association Agreement currently renegotiated, so that the JCC can express its views on any subject covered by the Agreement, including trade.
As part of its work to prepare an opinion on 'Telework and gender equality', the SOC Section of the EESC is organising a virtual public hearing on Monday 15 January 2021, from 10:30 a.m. to 13:00 p.m.
A selection of stakeholders from all levels (institutions, agencies, social partners and civil society organisations) will be invited to share their concrete reflexions and recommendations on this vast subject. This includes for instance the factors and considerations for taking up telework, how to secure work-life balance while teleworking, ways to ensure gender equality throughout these processes and any other matters they believe to be of relevance in this context.
The EESC EU-Japan Follow-up Committee will meet in the morning of 7 January 2021. It will discuss various aspects of EU-Japan relations and set its work programme for the first half of the new mandate.
In an exploratory opinion requested by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council, the SOC Section of the EESC is organising a virtual/hybrid public hearing on 7 January to discuss the challenges of teleworking with a focus on organization of working time, work life balance and the right to disconnect. Due to Covid-19, working from home has become the norm for millions of workers. Early estimates suggest that close to 40% of those currently working in the EU began to telework fulltime due to the pandemic.