The 18th edition of the European Consumer Day was held in Brussels on 10 March 2016.
We discussed the Better Regulation initiative, what should be taken into account by the Commission and other institutions in implementing this new strategy and how to make sure that consumers do not lose out.
As part of the work done towards the drafting of opinion REX/463 The New EU Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, the EESC has organized a hearing in order to obtain input and debate on the role of civil society in the new strategy being drafted. Participants will include representatives from the main civil society organizations in Europe as well as academics working on the subject. A draft Opinion will be made available which may serve as a basis for discussion.
During the meeting, the representative of the European External Action Service (EEAS) presented information about the EU relations and cooperation with Central America. Based on the Second Annual Report, the Commission representative provided information about the implementation of the trade pillar of the Association Agreement, changes in trade flows and work of joint bodies established by the Agreement. The EU Advisory Group discussed also preparations for the next meeting with Central America under the Trade and Sustainable Development Title, as well as the ways to better communicate its activities to the Central American partners and other relevant stakeholders.
On 25 February 2016, the EESC's TEN Section project delegation carried out a study visit in Eindhoven to gain first-hand knowledge of some of the extremely interesting smart city projects that have been set up in the city.
The delegation learned about the "Living Lab Stratumseind" and "Triangulum" projects.
EESC's public hearing on the European Citizens Initiative in the context of the ongoing review process. Questions to be tackled: policy areas covered by the ECI and the validation process; the current political limits to participatory democracy on a European level; the role of the EU institutions and Member States in the process and a better defined support.
514e Plenary Session, with the following debates :
The European Commission released in December 2015 the new version of the circular economy package. Its aim is to help the European economy move from linear to circular, more resource-efficient patterns, by ensuring that less resources are extracted from our natural environment and less waste is produced at the end of the product lifecycle. The package focuses on better design of products, improved waste management and recycling performance of EU Member States and the growth and job creation potential of the circular economy. It includes an Action Plan with a specific timeline up until 2017 on production aspects as well as a series of modifications to the waste legislation.
Representatives of the European and Georgian Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs), set up under the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Georgia, held their first joint meeting in Tbilisi on 26 January 2016. The participants expressed their commitment to fulfil the mandate foreseen in the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the Association Agreement, namely to monitor the implementation of the Chapter and to provide advice to the Parties to the Agreement.
Wednesday 20 January at 3 p.m. - Debate on COP 21: taking stock and looking ahead
Thursday 21 January 2016 at 9.30 a.m. - Debate on The role of organised civil society in democratic transition processes: Tunisia, a case study,
with the Tunisian Quartet, winners of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize:
- Kacem Afaya, Deputy Secretary-General of the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT)
- Ahmed ben Tahar Galai, vice-president of the Tunisian League of Human Rights (LTDH)
- Slim Ghorbel, member of the board of the Tunisian Industrial, Commercial and Handicrafts Union (UTICA)