The Europe we want, the Europe we need! Joint declaration by Georges Dassis and Conny Reuter
EESC public hearing on the revision of the ECI instrument on 22 February 2016
"Not just nice words and high ideals, but a concrete tool must be built" – this was the original idea of an instrument allowing citizens "to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required…" laid down in Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty.
Successful European citizen initiatives must trigger dialogue and proper follow-up at EU level
Six years after the introduction of the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) with barely any impact on EU legislation, the constructive criticism, particularly from the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and other institutions such as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman, is finally beginning to bear fruit, tempting the European Commission to review this important instrument of participative democracy.
On 26-27 June, the EESC, joining forces with other civil society organisations and European institutions, hosted the annual Civil Society Days. This major gathering of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from across Europe provided strong civil society input to the reflection on the future of Europe launched by the Commission with its "White Paper on the future of Europe". A forceful call was made for a new political impetus to relaunch the EU on the basis of our fundamental values and also to express a clear commitment by civil society organisations to forge ahead.
The successful experience of Estonia with E-government as well as questions concerning cybersecurity were discussed during the EESC conference on the “Future development of E-government in the EU” held in Tallinn. The EESC hosted a debate on the priorities of the incoming Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU which have as an overarching goal to improve the ...
The president of the European Parliament (EP) Antonio Tajani joined the EESC plenary session on Thursday 1 June to discuss the EP's priorities and the strengthening of cooperation between the two institutions. The EP's six priorities for this year are very much in line with the concerns of Europe's civil society, according to the EESC.
EESC launches digital version of the European Passport to active citizenship.
"The European Citizens Initiatives (ECI) is an instrument for citizens to take a role in European policy making. After 5 years of experience we see it is not working properly.
Recent developments in the US and some European countries have shown that rights acquired by women are not irreversible. This particularly applies to sexual and reproductive health and rights. These questions are a matter of individual rights but also of public health, as sexual and reproductive health services are an essential part of comprehensive healthcare provision. Societal debates on the questions tend more and more towards polarisation, at the expense of women who can become deprived of their free and informed choice. The hearing will gather the view of civil society on these developments.
The EESC FRRL Group's annual conference will provide a platform for debate of the European Commission's third Report on the Rule of Law (July 2022), which for the first time entails country specific recommendations.
It will gather EESC Members, civil society representatives (including social partners), EU institutions and other stakeholders to discuss the main developments in the EU in the area of fundamental rights and the rule of law over the past year.
On the occasion of the conference, the FRRL Group will issue its second synthesis report covering the visits carried out in 2020-2021.