With youth as one of the main policy areas of the Innovation Agenda for the Western Balkans (WBs), the participants in the hearing "Youth Policy in the Western Balkans, as part of the Innovation Agenda for the WBs", held by the EESC, reaffirmed the importance of young people for the future of the region. They also pointed to the "brain drain" problem and how transforming this into "brain circulation" could stimulate economic growth and development in the Western Balkans.
Responding to the state-sponsored instrumentalisation of migrants at the EU's external borders, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a conference on this topic, highlighting the momentum of the Europeanisation of migration policy. So far, authoritarian leaders have instrumentalised humanitarian suffering to blackmail Europe, as they are aware of the gap on migration policy on the continent. Nowadays, the geopolitical atmosphere calls for a common, holistic and cohesive migration policy that cannot be further delayed.
A steep rise in child and forced labour as well as continued exploitation of workers across the globe make EU action on decent work ever more urgent, according to an EESC hearing.
This month, we celebrate Europe Day to mark the anniversary of the historic Schuman declaration of 9 May 1950, widely regarded as the first real step towards European integration.
At a hearing organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), experts agreed that digital system data must be subject to democratic control to respect confidentiality and avoid possible misuse. They highlighted that the digital transformation, especially in view of the EU's population ageing, must be inclusive and allow access to basic services for everybody.
At this critical time for trade and sustainable development (TSD), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held the first European Civil Society Forum on TSD. This was a platform bringing together civil society, academia, EU and international institutions to discuss innovative ideas and concrete recommendations on the future of the EU’s trade policy. A series of breakout sessions covered TSD topics from substantive rights to monitoring, enforcement and much more, inviting participants to voice their views as part of the ongoing review of the 15-point action plan on TSD and recent developments in EU partner countries.
In efforts to promote the role of culture as an important vector of EU external relations, on 20 April 2022, the EESC held a hearing on its upcoming opinion Cultural diplomacy as a vector of EU external relations. New partnerships and role of CSO (rapporteur Mr Luca Jahier).
shadow pandemic of domestic violence during COVID-19 lockdowns to cyber stalking, violence against women and girls is endemic in society. To be truly holistic, the European Commission's proposal to address the issue across the EU must have a stronger human-rights focus, adopt a gender-sensitive approach and include women in vulnerable situations more effectively.
An EESC hearing points to the need to increase the employment rate of persons with disabilities, especially young people. Despite legal efforts, data shows that many of them are still facing discrimination in the world of work due to stereotypes portraying them as unproductive.
Often a source of labour exploitation, the employment of illegally staying migrants is also a pull factor for migrant smuggling which claims thousands of lives every year of people embarking on dangerous journeys to reach Europe. Both criminal practices should be met with resolute action at national and EU level