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The Civil Society Days 2019 will take place at a crucial moment for Europe, namely after the Sibiu Summit and the European elections and ahead of the constitution of the new European Parliament and European Commission.
Current pressures on our democratic systems are threatening fundamental values (respect for human rights, individual liberty, equality, the rule of law) and the civil society space within the European Union. The alarming consequence is an erosion of democracy and restricted civic space in several parts of the EU.
Against this backdrop and in consideration of the transformation processes the EU is facing, namely on economic, energy and ecological, social, and democratic and participatory level, this year's Civil Society Days will focus on two main pillars, Democracy and Sustainability, and will explore their links and interactions.
The EESC will organise its 7th Western Balkans Civil Society Forum in Tirana on 16-17 April 2019.
The main topics on the agenda will be the role of civil society organisations in promoting regional cooperation (trade and investment, connectivity and people to people relations), the state of social dialogue, as well as enabling civic space in the Western Balkans.
It will bring together approximately 100 participants, including a broad range of civil society representatives from the EU and the Western Balkans, as well as representatives of EU institutions, international organisations and governments of the region.
The European Migration Forum – the dialogue platform on migration, asylum and migrant integration - will meet for the fifth time in April 2019.
Participation in the Forum meeting is by invitation only - the call for interested organisations to express their interest to participate will be open until 28 January 2019. Please complete the form under the 'applications' tab in the left-hand menu.
A draft agenda will appear here soon.
The year 2019 marks a new step in the life of the European Citizens' Initiative. In March, the European Parliament will vote on the final text of the new ECI Regulation, which proposes a series of administrative simplifications and procedural changes to make this tool more citizen-friendly and less burdensome for the organisers. ECI Day 2019 will be the first to present you with the final text of the new Regulation and will explore further how it is intended to benefit active citizens wishing to influence the EU's agenda. This year, the theme of the conference will be Digital Voices, reflecting the ongoing changes in the global trends in voting and citizens' active participation. Digital natives no longer wait for elections to express their preferences; they voice their concerns at all times and at every opportunity. The ECI Day will explore these new digital trends in the particular context of the European elections.
The European Economic and Social Committee is organizing a hearing as part of its follow-up work on its opinion on ''A European retail sector fit for the 21st century'', which was adopted in December 2018. The event will take place on March 28 2019 in Como, Italy. It is part of a series of follow-up hearings to be held in several EU Member States.
The main objective of the hearing will be to discuss the effectiveness and efficiency of EU retail policies and to collect valuable input and feedback from Italian stakeholders on the issue in order to find ways to improve these policies. Particular emphasis will be placed on the recommendations presented in the EESC opinion with a view to their implementation at national level.
On 27 March 2019, the EESC is organising its 21st edition of the European Consumer Day in Brussels. With young consumers at the heart of the programme, and the trends in consumption patterns driven by technology, we will be talking about the role played by young people in this change and how they can influence the policy that affects them directly. Three key sectors for young people will be the subject of participatory workshops to discuss issues and opportunities in mobility, food and clothing. A live debate will also be held on the influence of social media on young people.
Your Europe, Your Say! 2019
2019 will be an election year and the new European Parliament will have very important decisions to make, at a time when everything from the economy to communication and from politics to social trends are being revolutionised on a daily basis.
How do you, as a young person, view these changes, and the opportunities and potential risks they bring, and what future solutions might you have to offer?
If you want to discuss these issues with other students from 33 countries, why not take part in YEYS 2019 by sharing your vision and celebrating with us the 10th anniversary of this event?
The EESC's Section for Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment (NAT) and the European Rural Parliament (ERP) organise a joint, web-streamed event on "Making rural areas the engines of a sustainable Europe" on 14 March 2019 on EESC premises.
At its hearing of the 13 March, the Study Group on the Inclusion of the Roma will be discussing the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) and how this can translate into a benefit for the Roma community.
The hearing will give a general overview of what the EPSR envisages for education, employment, housing and healthcare. It will then look at the possibilities and opportunities that the principles of the Pillar can bring to alter the situation of the Roma. The hearing will feature as discussion on the real consideration that the Pillar gives to the Roma and suggest ways through which the Roma can be integrated in the Pillar.
A draft agenda will appear here soon.