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Liaison Group with European civil society organisations and networks
MARCH 2017
Over the next few months, the future of Europe will be put to the test: the elections taking place in the Netherlands in March, in France in April, and later on in Germany, will shed light upon what the public wants from the European project. I hope that the peoples of Europe will vote to keep Europe united rather than to dismantle it.

The Commission's white paper sets out five potential scenarios for the state of the Union by 2025. Some of these scenarios promise "more Europe," moving more in the direction of positive reforms and a greater pooling of powers, resources and decision-making processes across all sectors. However, there are also three scenarios that are more in keeping with the spirit of "less Europe", suggesting that it should be pulled back to the single market or limited to certain specific areas, involving voluntary coalitions between countries.

On 13 March in Rome our Committee organised a conference entitled "Sixty years of European community – let’s build the future!" We wanted to fight against the excessive and unjust denigration of the European project and to emphasise the fact that, despite its shortcomings, it has historically benefited our peoples. Of course, we would also like to contribute to the debate on its future.

In the meantime, as the body that represents civil society, the EESC has proposed that the president of the Commission should involve civil society in the debate on the future of Europe. We have proposed to Mr Juncker to officially consult the Committee on this issue, which he accepted. The resulting opinion would be based on decentralised dialogue in all Member States, in order to give all national civil society organisations the opportunity to have their say, so that the European public can have a real influence on the future of Europe.
Georges Dassis
EESC President
Co-chair of the Liaison Group
News from the Liaison Group
The civil society organisations represented in the Liaison Group adopted their proposals for the Commission's work programme 2018 on 14 March 2017.
News from the CSO members of the Liaison Group
Free Movement of Persons in the EU: A Loved and Feared Reality – Brussels, 12 April
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, ECAS is organising a conference to outline the current obstacles to free movement and strategies for restoring trust in this fundamental EU right.

European Environmental Funders Group Spring meeting ‘Better together’ – Copenhagen, 4 April
The European Environmental Funders Group Spring meeting will reflect on funding opportunities, and cover topics such as the collective impact approach, climate change, sustainable transport and the circular economy.

Eurochild General Assembly and Members Day - 5-6 April 2017
The General Assembly is the key gathering in Brussels where Eurochild members take decisions on various matters relating to the network.

Developing European Volunteering Strategies (DEVS) – London, 6-7 April
Representatives from CEV member organisations from across Europe will consider the volunteering strategies that are needed by local, regional and national administrations in Europe and how to design and implement them with input from all sectors and stakeholders.

European post-2020 rural Agenda – Brussels, 19 April
Strong and shared advocacy is needed for the adoption of a rural Agenda as a strategic reference for the next European policy on rural territories after 2020.
The voice of older persons at EU level - Brussels, 27 April
The final conference of the SIMPATHY (Stimulating Innovation Management of Polypharmacy and Adherence in The Elderly) project will address the provision of healthcare services and the sustainable management of medication for older people and present the project's results.
Past events
ECAS study: “5 Takeaways on Brexit”
The study provides citizens with a comprehensive analysis of the potential consequences of Brexit for citizens’ rights. It also aims to enable citizens and civil society to advocate for the best possible Brexit for them.

EU Delegations - Towards a more effective partnership with civil society?
The CONCORD EU Delegations report offers recommendations to encourage EU Delegations, EU institutions, EU Member States and Civil Society Organisations to improve their partnership, dialogue and coordination. Consult the webpage.

​The Europe We Want: Just, Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive!
Read a Common Statement and the letter, co-signed by the WWF, ETUC, CONCORD, European Movement International, the European Women’s Lobby and the European Youth Forum, which has been sent to EU leaders.

New online tool to promote Youth Rights
The Youth Forum has launched an interactive, online guide on how youth organisations and young people can access and protect their rights. Explore the tool here.
News from the EESC
ECI DAY 2017 – Brussels, 11 April
Register for our annual conference ECI DAY 2017: I participate! on 11 April. This year we will focus on two themes: ECI success stories – showing how some ECI ideas have actually found their way into European legislation – and "citizens' participation – ECI and beyond", which will investigate various ways of involving citizens in terms of their efficiency, purpose and requirements.

EESC Open Day - Brussels, 6 May
Save the date for the EESC’s Open Day on 6 May! Come and visit the Committee, learn what we are doing and enjoy!
This year, the focus will be on the future of Europe and on the EU achievements over the last 60 years.


Civil Society Days: The Europe we insist on! –  26-27 June, Brussels
​Save the date! This year’s edition of the Civil Society Days will be held on 26-27 June. This year’s edition, entitled ‘The Europe we insist on!’ will deal with various topics such as the rise of populism, the technological revolution, the empowerment of civil society organisations and urban and rural topics. Civil society will raise its voice in time for the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.
Past events
Sixty years of the European community
Let's shape the future - Rome, 13 March

As part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties, the EESC, together with the Italian Council of Ministers and under the patronage of the Italian Parliament, held a conference on 13 March. The aim of the meeting was to reflect on the future of the EU, particularly with regard to European civil society’s commitment to contribute to pursuing full European integration.

The situation of refugees and migrants with disabilities – Brussels, 14 March
The objective of the hearing was to draw attention to the situation of refugees and migrants with disabilities. "We are morally and legally obliged to welcome and integrate refugees into our societies, and especially those with disabilities, with solidarity and in a humane way", declared the EESC president at the opening of the hearing.

3rd European Migration Forum – Brussels, 2-3 March
The European Migration Forum is a platform for dialogue between civil society and the European institutions on issues relating to migration, asylum and the integration of third-country nationals. Read the conclusions.
EESC publications & studies
EESC plenary session 29 - 30 March
  • Debate on the EU's future trade policy with the participation of Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade

  • Debate on the on cohesion policy post-2020 with the participation of Corina Crețu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy

  • All adopted EESC opinions can be consulted here
EESC legislative programme
  • For details on received referrals and expected referrals allocated to Sections, as well as exploratory opinions click here

  • Are you interested in getting information or in bringing input to one of the opinions? Contact the relevant Section secretariat
Subscribe to EESC newsletters
Civil dialogue in the EU
Overcoming youth marginalization – Brussels, 3 Mai
The objective of the conference is to discuss ways of tackling exclusion and marginalisation in order to prevent radicalisation and criminalisation.


EU leaks
The EULeaks platform was launched in order to provide EU officials and other staff with the tools to make their voices heard and sound the alarm. The platform is dedicated to information of public interest on EU decision-making, implementation of EU law or spending of the EU budget in Brussels or the Member States.

​Help Brussels breathe
SchoneluchtBXLairpropre is a citizens' movement in Brussels that campaigns for clean air and aims to provide citizens with a platform to make their voices heard in the consultation on the new air quality plan.

Guide to EU Funding 2014 - 2020
The European Parliamentary Research Service’ (EPRS) ‘Guide to EU Funding 2014-2020 ’ is a basic introduction to EU funding opportunities for regional and local authorities, NGOs, businesses, professionals and citizens.
It provides a list of the most important EU funds, and appropriate information on the opportunities the funding offers.

Petitions To The European Parliament: How Does It Work?
​What is the procedure for submitting a petition to the European Parliament? Citizens are broadly aware of their right to submit a petition, however they often request further information about the procedure to send the petition and on the way the petitions are afterwards discussed in the EP Committee. This article explains what’s going on.

Public Consultation on the European Solidarity Corps
The European Solidarity Corps will create opportunities for young people to support communities and people in need through volunteering and solidarity-related jobs, traineeships and apprenticeships, both in the young people's home countries and abroad. The Commission is now consulting stakeholders and the general public to define the key priorities. Participate here !
                  Images courtesy of
Special features
Quo vadis, EU?
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has published a White Paper on the future of the EU. On this occasion, the European Political Strategy Centre has produced an accompanying publication, highlighting the ‘European Story’ of 60 years of shared progress.
External links
The Guardian provides insight into Google's search algorithms.
Many people like to talk about how important voting is, how it's your civic duty and responsibility as an adult. Eric Liu agrees with all that, but he also thinks it's time to bring joy back to the ballot box.
Links to our members' newsletters

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