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"The key role of the social economy in responding to societal challenges is clear: in these times of economic crisis, the social economy sector has been extremely resilient, namely by creating jobs, especially because it is a sector where social innovation can express itself fully ", declared the EESC president at the opening of the conference on The Social Economy as a key player in providing effective answers to current societal challenges in the EU and the world.


On the 29th of November president Dassis met with the head of the Moroccan government, Abdel-Ilah Benkirann. Among other things, the topic of discussion included underlining the importance of civil society participation in the political dialogue and the value of consultative institutions.


Mr García del Riego, rapporteur for the EESC opinion on "Promoting innovative and high growth firms", and ECO section president Mr van Iersel, contributed to the policy debate with the position of organised civil society.


On 29 November, the Members of the ECO Section welcomed Mr Udo Bullmann and Mr José Manuel Fernandes, Members of the European Parliament and rapporteurs on the extension of the duration of the European Fund for Strategic Investments at the section meeting where the EESC opinion on the issue was discussed.


In a packed room of +190 participants, the EESC President, Georges Dassis, declared: "Our continent has always needed people from abroad. Europe's reconstruction is greatly due to migrants' contributions. Over the past two years, media have played a big role in our perception of the migration flows. It is thus necessary to mention the benefits that migrants have brought to Europe. Our answer must also be the one of unity with the shaping of common policies on migration and asylum at EU level."


Joost van Iersel, ECO President, meets Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission for the euro and social dialogue


On 25 November 2016, Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission responsible for the euro and social Dialogue, received in his office an EESC delegation headed by Joost van Iersel, President of the ECO Section. A number of issues were discussed, including the new European semester exercise, the situation in the euro area, the forthcoming Commission White Paper on the future of the EU and in particular the EMU, and the possible future EESC initiatives in these areas.