The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
Technological developments are full of opportunities, but also risks, disability organisations warn at an EESC public hearing
The EU Disability strategy for 2020-2030 should ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to a fully digitalised world, a conference on “The future of the EU Disability strategy after 2020” heard this month at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).
Existing legislation has not been capable of fully addressing the impediments that people with disabilities face to find a job, as employers are frequently unaware of the benefits of employing them. This was one of the main messages of the hearing on "Employment of Persons with Disabilities", which took place last week at the EESC in Brussels. In her opening speech, Irena Petraitienė, EESC President of Permanent Study Group on Disability Rights, said: "Member States should initiate dialogue with...
A delegation of the EESC permanent Study Group on Disability Rights, composed by Ioannis Vardakastanis (Group III), Bernard Noël (Group II) and Dare Stojan (Group I), visited Greece from 12-14 October, accompanied by the Director of the European Disability Forum, Catherine Naughton, and supported by Valeria Atzori from the Secretariat and Maria Kampouri from National Confederation of Disabled People in Greece (NCDP). The aim of the visit, which was organized with the help of NCDP Greece, was to evaluate the situation of refugees and other migrants with disabilities in the reception structures of Lesbos and Athens ...
80 million people live with disability in the EU – new European Accessibility Act published in December
The European Economic and Social Committee, partnering with the United Nations in Brussels, today heard from two very special achievers about the day to day realities of living with disability. Taking place just after the publication of the new EU Accessibility Act (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-6147_es.htm), Gerardo and Antonio (represented by his father) attended a special hearing to tell the EESC about their wonderful journey in life and what they had achieved in completing the Camino de Santiago while living with the day to day challenges of severe disability. Partnering with the United Nations Information Centre (UNRIC) and the UN Office on Human Rights, the EESC also hosted a special Cine ONU screening of the film "El desorden de los sentidos" (Disorder of the senses) with the film's protagonists and producers https://vimeo.com/54042747
Room VMA 22 EESC building and Interactio, Rue Van Marlant 2, 1040
The EESC's Permanent Group on disability Rights is organising a hybrid public hearing on " Potential and challenges of Assistive Technology and Artificial Intelligence on the life of PWD " on 14 March 2024 from 9:30 am to 1 pm.
When implemented effectively, assistive technology (AT) can improve accessibility and quality of life. Artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance the effectiveness of AT in a number of fields, but it is important that it is developed safely with accessibility and inclusion in mind.
During the hearing, we will discuss with stakeholders the potential but also challenges associated with the use of AT and AI on the life of PWDs.
Room JDE 62 EESC building, Rue Belliard 99, 1040 Brussels and Interactio
The EESC's Permanent Group on disability Rights is organising a hybrid public hearing on "The Web accessibility directive: looking forward" on 23 October 2023 from 9:30 am to 1 pm.
The aim of the Web Accessibility Directive is to provide people with disabilities with better access to public websites and mobile apps.
In the hearing, stakeholders will look at the main challenges hindering a full application of the directive and discuss which would be the necessary next steps to take in this field to ensure full digital accessibility within the EU
Room JDE 70 (& Interactio), EESC building, Rue Belliard 99, 1040
In the context of the European Year of Skills, the EESC's Permanent Group on disability Rights is organising a hybrid public hearing on "Skills for employment for persons with disabilities in the context of the green and digital transition" on 10 July 2023 am ( 9:30 am to 12:30 pm).
The hearing will look at what could be done to improve and adapt skills of persons with disabilities to the requirements of the labour market in the context of the green and digital transition and to ensure they have access to quality jobs.
The EESC is organising a hybrid public hearing on "Towards a European Health Union and European Global Health Strategy fully inclusive of Persons with Disabilities " on 7th March 2023 am ( 9:30 am to 1 pm).
Despite being recognized by the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, persons with disabilities (pwd) are still victims of discrimination in access to healthcare both in the EU and at global level. The hearing, organised by the EESC Permanent Group on Disability Rights, will discuss what can be done to advance the rights of pwd in the field of health within the European Health Union and the EU Global Health Strategy.
The EESC is organising a public hearing on "Climate justice and how it is affecting people with disabilities in Europe and in the world" on 19 October 2022.
Climate justice is a concept that addresses the just division, fair sharing, and equitable distribution of the benefits and burdens of climate change and responsibilities to deal with it.
People with disabilities, especially those living in low income countries, are among those most impacted by climate change. In addition, their human rights are most at risk of violation by inappropriate climate action. To avoid this, their meaningful participation in climate policy forums for the development of climate adaptation and mitigation plans is needed.
The aim of the event is to identify necessary steps to reach disability inclusive climate justice.
the explosion of the phenomenon during the pandemic
Interactio and Room JDE 60, EESC building, Rue Belliard 99, 1040
In order to prepare its own initiative opinion on "The role of family members caring for people with disabilities and the elderly: the explosion of the phenomenon during the pandemic", the EESC is organising a remote public hearing on 4 July 2022 from 9:30 am to 1 pm.
The aim of the event is to gather input from policy makers, civil society organisations and social partners, which will feed into the EESC's opinion.