Annual meeting of presidents and secretaries-general of the Economic and Social Councils of the EU and the European Economic and Social Committee 2021

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Presidents and secretaries-general of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and national Economic and Social Councils (ESCs) across the EU met on 22-23 November to discuss the topic of Participatory democracy and its role in making the EU resilient and future-proof.

After in-depth and rich discussions, participants endorsed conclusions to be shared with the European institutions and key European actors – representing a powerful message and a timely contribution to the Conference on the Future of Europe. "The Conference is to connect EU decision-makers with the citizens and the organised civil society of Europe and it must be a success." This is what the leaders of European Economic and Social Councils insisted on during their annual meeting.

The event was also an occasion to approve a mobility project between ESCs, which would improve sharing of knowledge, experience and best practices and create a genuine network of organised civil societies in the EU.

The meeting was co-organised and hosted by the French Economic, Environmental and Social Council in Paris and was chaired by Christa Schweng, president of the EESC and Thierry Beaudet, president of the French ESEC.

Participants debated their ESCs' visions on the future of Europe and the importance of participatory democracy in shaping successful EU and national policies. They also discussed the implementation of National Recovery and Resilience Plans in their respective countries and the involvement of organised civil society.