During the meeting, the EU DAG had an opportunity to discuss with Mr. Helmut Scholz, Member of the European Parliament, implementation of the Trade and Sustainable Development Title and work of the civil society monitoring mechanism in the framework of the EU-Colombia and Peru Trade Agreement. Moreover, the representatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS) presented information about the EU relations and cooperation with Colombia and Peru. Based on the Second Annual Report, the Commission representative provided information about the implementation of the Trade Agreement, changes in trade flows and work of joint bodies. He also informed about the procedures and timeline related to Ecuador's accession to the Agreement.
The European Migration Forum – the civil society dialogue platform on migration, asylum and migrant integration – met for the second time on 6 and 7 April 2016 at the EESC's headquarters.
Following on from the subject discussed at the first meeting (the management of mixed flows of migrants across the Mediterranean), the Forum now focused on the long-term approach to migration and integration.
Attendance at the Forum meetings was by invitation only. The plenary parts of the meeting were streamed.
Ahead of the international Roma Day on 8 April, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will hold a hearing on "Anti-gypsyism, possible responses", which will feed into the work of the EESC permanent study group on Roma inclusion monitoring the implementation the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies.
Anti-gypsyism is an important barrier to the effective implementation of the framework and national integration strategies, and the hearing wants to shed light on possible responses to this cross-cutting problem. The European refugee crisis acerbates problems with general racism, xenophobia which also affects Roma. A hearing on anti-gypsyism and other forms of racism and xenophobia will allow exchanging best practices on how to combat these phenomena.
The hearing is part of the preparation of an own-initiative opinion on the same subject.
When China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), the accession protocol included a clause which could be interpreted to mean that from a specific date (11 December 2016), China would automatically be given market economy treatment for the purposes of the application of trade defence instruments. This interpretation is contested by some stakeholders. It would have a direct impact on industry, investment, growth and employment in Europe.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is currently preparing an own initiative opinion on "The impact of the conclusions of COP21 on European transport policy". A hearing was organized in order to gather relevant views on this issue and shape concrete proposals to inform the EESC's forthcoming opinion.
An exhibition to celebrate the Conference of Messina in 1955
This exhibition will be organized in cooperation with the Historical Archives of the European Union, Alinari, Consiglio Italiano del Movimiento Europeo and SMILE.
15 March – 1 April 2016
The Dutch Presidency has requested an exploratory opinion about the shift from the traditional employment relationship to more non-standard forms of employment, introduced among others by online platforms like Uber. The EESC is to examine the link between new forms of employments relationships to a decent living wage and make policy recommendations as to how to take full advantage of digital innovation but regulate and mitigate the effects in terms of labour law protection and social protection.
On 30 March 2016, the EESC's TEN Section project delegation conducted a study visit in Genoa to discover some of the very inspiring smart city initiatives that have been implemented there. The Municipality of Genoa is investing in its ‘vision’ of a city able to recognise and manage its own unique complexities, through the implementation of an intelligent, integrated and sustainable urban system, which identifies and enhances its own cultural, economic, productive and environmental characteristics, thus helping to develop a compatible and attractive natural urban fabric. Genoa has an ‘experimental’ vocation and sees itself as a laboratory in which to develop an innovative and technological approach designed to meet the city’s real needs, including in partnership with other Smart Cities.
The hearing is held within the framework of the preparation of an own-initiative opinion entitled: "The digital growth pillar: e-seniors, a potential 25% of the European population."
On 30th March, the EESC's External Relations Section (REX) will hold a public hearing on the external dimension of EU's energy policy at its headquarters (Jacques Delors building) in Brussels.
The experts and representatives of civil society and EU institutions will discuss the key topics concerning the EU energy policy, including the diversification of energy sources and the completion of the single energy market.