Press releases

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    Closer cooperation needed to defeat terrorism, curb firearm access

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted today an opinion calling for the development of new tools to prevent radicalisation, as part of a broader EU anti-terrorism strategy, and for access to firearms to be significantly curbed. The opinion on the European Agenda on Security (Rapporteur: Cristian Pîrvulescu), responds to both the Commission’s EU Action Plan against illicit trafficking in and use of firearms and explosives, and a proposal for a Directive on combating terrorism. More

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    Key messages on EU migration strategy from 11 fact-finding country visits and 180+ meetings with Civil Society organisations active in the field. Persecution, conflict and poverty drove more than one million people to seek safety in Europe last year. Significant numbers went missing or died (most drowned) making the arduous journey. The majority who reached Europe made their way across the Mediterranean, arriving mainly in Greece and Italy. For those who survived, arrival in Europe has rarely meant the end of suffering and harsh conditions. As part of its reflections on EU migration strategy, the EESC published a report based on fact-finding country visits and meetings with more than 180 stakeholders, mainly from civil society organisations actively working with refugees and migrants ...

    Press release   /   Mission reports

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    The EESC supports cutting red tape and constraints on small, medium and micro-enterprises through better regulation, but at the same time this process should not mean complete deregulation, warned the EESC during the European Consumer Day on 10 March. Better regulation aims to make rules simple, workable and less costly for users and taxpayers but it is not a dispensation from complying with regulations designed to protect consumers and workers, or from upholding environmental standards. During the European Consumer Day the EESC urged the Commission to take better account of civil society's views via public consultations and impact assessments. Representatives of consumer organisations, policy-makers and European institutions gathered at the 18th annual conference, organised by the EESC, to discuss better regulation and its impact on consumers.

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    On Monday 29 February, the President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Georges Dassis, met with the Greek Minister for Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity, Georgios Katrougalos. The president briefed the minister on the EESC's initiatives to uphold the Schengen Agreement and regarding the refugee crisis.

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    More than 122 million people in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion[1]

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted an opinion urging the EU Council to stick to its commitment to get at least 20 million people out of poverty by 2020. The EESC adopted its opinion on fighting poverty (Rapporteur: Seamus Boland, Co-Rapporteur: Marjolijn Bulk), requested by the Dutch Presidency of the Council, during its plenary session on 18 February 2016. To achieve the EU's target, Member States need to launch their own national strategies to fight poverty, social exclusion and discrimination, supported by a common European framework. These strategies should focus on adequate income support, inclusive labour markets, quality jobs, equal access to affordable high quality services for all, including migrants and people granted asylum.  


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    Investments and free flow of capital are essential for Europe's growth. However, the EU's capital markets are still underdeveloped and fragmented. Therefore, the European Commission adopted an Action plan on "Capital Markets Union" in 2015 aiming to create a true single market for capitals in Europe. The EESC calls for Europe to better mobilise capital and channel it to companies, infrastructures and sustainable projects that will create jobs and growth.

    At its plenary session, the EESC has adopted an opinion on the European Commission Action plan that endorses its goals and advocates for an extension and diversification of the sources of funding, within a single capital market based on a maximum harmonisation of rules: it is of utmost importance that Member States introduce, apply and supervise the proposed measures of the Action plan in the same way.


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    The EESC today adopted a resolution in support of the Schengen Agreement, entitled "Free to move, Support Schengen". The representatives of European civil society are concerned about the pressure being put on the Schengen Agreement and its use as an easy scapegoat for all the shortcomings in the management of Europe's borders.

    Today, EESC Civil Society representatives made a strong appeal to Europe's governments to not bow to populist pressure and fear but instead to defend the rights that Europeans have striven for over the last 30 years.

    In the resolution, the Committee "recognises that recent events have revealed serious shortcomings in the management of Europe’s borders and our ability to trace the movements of those who want to cause harm. These concerns must be addressed, but Schengen is not the problem and should not be used as a scapegoat. The EU institutions must avoid at all cost the piecemeal unravelling of the Schengen rules, and with it the Internal Market, which will ultimately be to the detriment of us all."

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    On Tuesday 9 February, Georges Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, had an audience with Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic. Mr Pavlopoulos said that the European Economic and Social Committee played a special and historic role, noting that it had been "set up as a reminder of the social face of the European Union and was a fundamental pillar of the entire European edifice"

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    Georges Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, will express the support of European civil society for the political priorities of the Dutch presidency during his visit to The Netherlands on Wednesday 10 February.

    He is scheduled to meet with Ms Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment, to discuss the priorities of the EESC during the Dutch Presidency term, notably concerning a number of referrals for EESC opinions on Europe's social issues.

    During another meeting with Ms Brigitte van der Burg, Chair of the Dutch Parliament's Committee on Social Affairs and Employment, the EESC President will discuss entrepreneurship, civil society activities and youth policy.

    Mr Dassis will then meet Ms Mariëtte Hamer, President of the Dutch Social and Economic Council (SER) to discuss further cooperation.

    The Dutch presidency has requested the EESC to carry out 10 exploratory opinions related to Europe's social issues, integration of migrants and the shape of Europe's economy, the EESC is determined to deliver strong and concrete solutions to make a better Europe for all.

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    Georges Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, reiterated European civil society organisations' support in this to Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, when the two met today.

    This increased support entails greater political cooperation between the Commission and the EESC so as to bring the European institutions closer to the people of Europe and to defend the values and major successes of the Union, such as the achievements of the Schengen agreement and the Union's achievements in the social domain and the consolidation thereof.