Highlights of the EEESC's 575th Plenary session

Charlemagne building - 24 January, 2.30 to 6.30 pm; 25 January, 10.00 am to 1 pm

Web streaming   Agenda

The EESC will host the following debates:

  • 24 January, 3.00 pm "Mid-term assessment of the progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda - organised civil society's perspective", with Guillaume Lafortune, Vice-President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN),
  • 24 January, 5.30 pm  "30 years of the Single Market, our greatest success but also the biggest challenge for the next generation!" with Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission
  • 25 January, 11.00 am  "European Union's responses to (geo-) political challenges in 2023 – the perspective of the European Parliament, with Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament
  • 25 January, 11.45 am  Priorities of the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union with Jessika Roswall, Minister for EU Affairs, Sweden

Key reports to be put to the vote:


  • The European Care Strategy (SOC/741, rapporteur: Kinga JOÓ, Civil Society Organisations, HU; co-rapporteur: Zoe TZOTZE-LANARA, Workers, EL)
    The EESC welcomes the proposals put forward in the European Care Strategy, envisageoning actions at the EU and national levels with the goal of strenghtneing the care infrastructure in Europe. It renews its proposal to launch a European Care Guarantee, an instrument which should ensure life-long access to affordable quality healthcare and care services for all people living in the EU. The instrument would also contribute to addressing care deficits and promoting decent working conditions for all carers, including informal ones. More


  • Euro area economic policy 2023 (ECO/598, rapporteur: Petru Sorin Dandea – Workers, RO)
    The EESC tackles the energy price crisis, reiterating that the EU must support consumers and businesses and that nobody should be left behind. To this end, it is essential to step up coordination of national fiscal policies with the monetary policy of the European Central Bank. More

External relations

  • The EU Strategic Compass (REX/562, rapporteur: Christian MOOS, Civil Society Organisations' Group, DE; co-rapporteur: Peter CLEVER, Employers' Group, DE)
    The EESC  believes that the strategic compass marks an essential step forward for the European security and defence policy and calls for a broader definition of security and for a reflection on strategic independence. The opinion stresses that security goes far beyond defence and that it also includes aspects of energy, transport, food security or citizens' security, making civil society a key stakeholder in a debate. More
  • The implementation of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland  (REX/563, rapporteur Jack O'Connor, Workers' Group, IE)
    The information report underlines the gravity of the situation with regard to the EU-UK relationship which is heavily burdened by the impasse in the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, with  the UK Government  insisting on EU "concessions" on the terms of the Protocol. stresses that a sustainable solution needs to be found and implemented. The report also highlights important issues such as the relations between EU and UK civil society or the rights of EU citizens in the UK. More
  • Setting the course for a sustainable blue planet, an update of the international ocean governance agenda (REX/558, rapporteur: Stefano Palmieri – Workers, IT)
    The EESC backs a new and strengthened international governance of the Oceans, calling for increased international cooperation and the effective and transparent involvement at every stage of this process of different stakeholders supporting policy-making, communication and outreach. More
  • Forced labour products ban (REX/565, rapporteur: Thomas Wagnsonner – Workers, AT)
    The Committee supports the Commission's proposal for a regulation prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market, pointing out that the institutional anchoring of social partners and NGOs in the new legislation is of paramount importance. More


  • The power of trade partnerships: together for green and just economic growth (REX/561, rapporteur Tanja BUZEK , Workers Group, GE)
    The opinion aims to put together a number of recommendations and action points that are essential for the recent EC review of the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD). The review sets a new benchmark on the TSD and the EESC stresses the need for clearer and more detailed TSD provisions that will help to better define roadmaps and help both trade partners to better understand what is expected from them. The EESC believes that the role of the civil society must be reinforced as well as this of the  Domestic Advisory Groups ( DAGs), which the review has taken into account. More.