Since August 2020, the authoritarian regime of Aleksandr Lukashenko has carried out a mass attack on civil society, independent journalists, bloggers and writers in Belarus. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) published an information report on the political and media situation in the country, with a view to making recommendations on how to assist Belarusian media companies and journalists who have fled the country and, most importantly, those who are left behind fighting the regime.
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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.
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.
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).
To turn solidarity with Ukraine into concrete action, the EESC is joining the European Parliament's "civil society hub" initiative for Ukraine, allowing the NGO Promote Ukraine to use part of its premises at rue de Trèves 74, along with logistical equipment.
With its new trade strategy, the EU will get tougher on its trading partners, giving sustainability centre stage. The EESC also firmly believes that civil society organisations and the social partners should be given a seat at the table, to ensure that the benefits emerging from this new trade policy are genuinely distributed among all participants, both in the EU and in the partner countries.
Democracy, human rights and the rule of law are core European values and the most important preconditions for EU membership. In line with the joint declaration from the 13th meeting of the EU-Serbia Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee | European Economic and Social Committee (europa.eu), we stress that fair, transparent elections are essential for any functioning democratic society, and that complete confidence in electoral processes is essential for democracy and rule of law.
Set up in 2001, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism seems to no longer be sufficiently capable of responding to disasters linked to climate change and multiple catastrophes, such as the current war in Ukraine. In the opinion Consolidating the EU-Civil Protection, EESC civil society representatives propose establishing a European agency that would link civil protection and humanitarian aid in a more consistent way. At the same time, it could pave the way towards stronger foreign policy actions.
Bis-summit tal-Kunsill Ewropew fl-isfond, il-Kumitat Ekonomiku u Soċjali Ewropew illum adotta riżoluzzjoni dwar “Il-gwerra fl-Ukrajna u l-impatt ekonomiku u soċjali tagħha”.