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The hearing is part of the EESC follow-up work related to its opinion on Improving the effectiveness of EU policies for SMEs, adopted in July 2017.
The ECI DAY 2018 comes in the middle of the ongoing consultations on the new ECI proposals made by the European Commission in September 2017 after it was announced by FVP Frans Timmermans in the opening session of the ECI DAY 2017. The EESC will have produced its opinion by then and the opinions and advanced reports from the other institutions will also be available. The conference will tap into the need for a greater involvement of the Members States with their newly assigned ECI-related tasks, with the Troika ministers (Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria) invited to the opening session.
The illicit tobacco trade is a major concern for the EU, posing great risks to both consumers and businesses and causing losses of more than EUR 10 billion to public revenues annually. It is also an important source of revenue for international organised crime. This conference will discuss how to step up the fight against the illicit tobacco trade from the perspective of different stakeholders.
In September 2016, the EESC adopted an own-initiative opinion on "The rights of live-in care workers". It was a first policy document at the European level dealing with the sector of live-in care work in Europe. As follow-up to this initiative, the EESC will carry out 5 country visits to countries of origin and destination of live-in care workers (United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Poland) to deepen the research on labour and work conditions of these persons and the quality of care delivery. The findings will be presented in a report to be released by the EESC later in 2018.
Consumers are becoming increasingly digital, whether by choice or by default. As society and the economy advance towards the age of post-mass consumption and the Internet of Things, what can consumers expect? A new generation is asking: how does big data affect the choices I make? How much is my personal data worth, and who is using it?
2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH), and the European Economic and Social Committee will invite pupils from all over Europe to Brussels in order to get their opinion on the best way to engage European youth in the protection and promotion of our common cultural heritage. The Committee is also interested in the pupils’ fresh views on the relationship between culture, democracy and peace.
The EESC, as the voice of civil society, is eager to ensure that the ideas of Europe’s younger generation are heard.
In November 2017, the European Commission proposed an amendment to the Gas Directive (2009/73/EC) to ensure that gas pipelines from and to third countries are subject to the common rules of the internal gas market. The aim of this extension of the Gas Directive is to increase competition between gas suppliers and to boost energy security in the Energy Union.
Given the increasing dependency on gas imports, this amendment raises a number of political and economic questions in particular concerning its implications for current and future investments, regulatory burden for national authorities, and the autonomy of Member States in conducting external energy policy.
The objective of the hearing is to gather relevant views of experts and stakeholders that will help the EESC shape a comprehensive view of civil society on the Commission's proposal.
In November 2017, the European Commission released its third report on the State of the Energy Union. The Commission’s overall assessment of progress towards achieving the goals of the Energy Union is positive but it recognises that much still needs to be done. In particular, it promises 2018 to be a Year of Engagement, ensuring that citizens and civil society are mobilised and take full ownership of Europe’s energy transition. The EESC has previously highlighted a number of challenges in realising the Commission's vision of putting the citizen at the heart of the Energy Union and the progress made in this respect.
This public hearing therefore pursues two overarching goals, namely to hear how civil society organisations and experts assess the State of the Energy Union and to explore opportunities to improve economic and political ownership of the Energy Union by citizens and civil society.
The European Migration Forum – the dialogue platform on migration, asylum and migrant integration - will meet for the fourth time in March 2018.
Participation in the Forum meeting is by invitation only.
The deadline for submitting your expression of interest to participate in the European Migration Forum 2018 is over. We thank you for your interest. For any other information you may contact the Forum Secretariat at eu-migration-forumeesc [dot] europa [dot] eu.