As relações entre a UE e os seus vizinhos meridionais constituem uma das prioridades do CESE. O trabalho realizado abrange um vasto leque de domínios, tais como a participação da sociedade civil no diálogo político e civil, a transição democrática, o emprego dos jovens, o desenvolvimento sustentável, a mobilidade e a imigração, o comércio, as energias renováveis e o desenvolvimento empresarial.
O CESE tem vindo a trabalhar nestas questões desde 1995. Na sequência de alterações ocorridas na região em 2010, os objetivos foram ajustados em conformidade, com o objetivo de:
- Apoiar as organizações da sociedade civil nos países em fase de transição. Esse apoio visa, em particular, os sindicatos e as associações patronais, bem como as associações de mulheres, de jovens e de agricultores.
- Manter relações bilaterais com os conselhos económicos e sociais nacionais na região e envidar esforços no sentido de criar condições para a inclusão da sociedade civil no diálogo político nos países meridionais parceiros.
- Elaborar pareceres e relatórios conjuntos sobre os principais desafios com que a região está confrontada.
- Realizar reuniões regulares com as instituições europeias e organizações internacionais para debater as políticas relativas à sociedade civil em toda a região.
- Organizar anualmente uma cimeira dos conselhos económicos e sociais e instituições similares, em que são apresentadas, aos responsáveis políticos dos governos nacionais e da UE, recomendações políticas sobre os principais desafios da região.
COVID-19: The role of civil society in the reconstruction and resilience of the Euro-Mediterranean region
The Covid-19 pandemic is strongly affecting the Euro-Mediterranean region, creating new challenges and exacerbating pre-existing ones. The pandemic has highlighted fundamental weaknesses in institutions, economies and health systems. Civil society plays a key role in the reconstruction and resilience of the whole region.
The Communication stresses the EU's commitment to safeguarding an online environment providing the highest possible freedom and security, for the benefit of its citizens.
At the 2018 Euromed Summit, it was agreed that the next Information Report to be presented to the 2019 Summit of ESCs and Similar institutions will deal with the topic of the impact of digitalisation on SMEs in the Mediterranean area.
The integration of millions of young graduates into the job market each year constitutes a major challenge for the countries of the Southern Mediterranean. Small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) play a decisive role in the fight against youth unemployment as they are important drivers of job creation and provide 80% of employment in the region.
The EESC regularly produces information reports to be presented at the yearly Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar institutions. In 2018, based on feedback from the previous summit, the Euromed Follow-Up Committee decided to focus on the topic of education and vocational training (VET) in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The situation concerning economic, social and cultural rights is quite patchy in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Although some countries, in the wake of what has been called the Arab spring, drew up new constitutions enshrining some of these rights in legislation for the very first time, the rights have not always been respected. In certain other countries, these rights have been weakened since 2011.The aim of this information report would be to give an overview of the current situation as regards economic, social and cultural rights in the Euro-Mediterranean region, as well as pinpointing new avenues for work in the future. This report would be submitted at the Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and would enable us to work together with our counterparts from the Mediterranean countries.
This report follows the conclusion of the 2015 Euro-Mediterranean Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions on cooperation with third countries in promoting regular migration to the EU and will be presented at the 2016 Euromed Summit. Cooperation with countries of origin and international bodies to increase transit possibilities for regular migrants to the EU is the most effective way of combating the illicit trafficking of people and meeting the need for workers in EU countries. The aim of the information report is to define the pillars that can facilitate cooperation on regular migration and ascertain what experience has been gained from labour migration agreements with countries of origin and from the ways in which the Member States manage recruitment abroad.
This report is the result of the commitment of the EESC Euromed Follow-Up Committee to women issues in the region.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is fully aware of the varying circumstances in different countries in the Mediterranean region. It is particularly aware of the conflict and instability affecting many southern Mediterranean countries. The EESC calls on the European Commission (EC) and governments of the countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region to develop shared solutions to these challenges – including poverty, economic challenges, conflict and terrorism – which are resulting in unacceptable suffering, especially among women.
The central role that women play in the process of democratisation during transitional periods, when drafting national constitutions and when reforming current laws must be safeguarded and sustained through good governance in order to prevent setbacks in gender equality.