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Liaison Group with European civil society organisations and networks
​Closing Pandora's Box
Almost daily we await the next surprise to come either from the other side of the Atlantic or from our own continent: taboo-breaking seems to be the new norm amidst an atmosphere of "post-democracy" and anti-establishment discourse. The worrying question is whether it will be possible to close Pandora's box or whether the trend towards more instability will continue.

Over the coming months, elections will be held in the Netherlands, France and Germany. Hopefully the next wake-up call – if we really need another one – will not come too late. The results in the Netherlands and France in particular could lead to more exit processes. What can we do? Essentially, we must do our work well, but we also need to think about how we can have a greater impact at national level.

These are the questions on the agenda of European civil society networks this year. One important step in the mobilisation process will be the upcoming Civil Society Days to be held on 26 and 287June under the heading L’Europe que nous exigeons – The Europe we call for! We know the procedures, we know the European institutions: now it is time to deliver and prove to citizens that the European project is about more than markets and competition and that it can also deliver added value!
Conny REUTER, Secretary General of SOLIDAR 
Co-chair of the Liaison Group
News from the CSO members of the Liaison Group
European Social Innovation Competition - Athens, 28 February
AGE Platform Europe is organising a competition that will be looking for social innovations that allow everyone equally to seize the opportunities offered by digital transformation and technological change.

What will new EU energy package mean for consumers? - Brussels, 9 March
The Commission’s proposals aim to make the EU’s energy market fit for an energy transition to more sustainable energy sources. BEUC is organising a debate to take stock of these proposals and discuss what needs to happen to make them good for consumers.

Launch of "On our watch" platform
The European Youth Forum, European Movement International and Brussels IHECS Journalism school have launched a new platform – – where CSOs are joining to assess the work of the European Parliament at this midway point of the current term. What progress has been made since the 2014 elections, relative to politicians’ promises and citizens demands? What should MEPs prioritise in the lead up to the 2019 elections?

If your organisation would like to contribute, please contact: or

LLLPlatform Annual Conference "Education in a Digital World" 
Tallinn, Estonia, 31 May – 1 June
The Conference will invite participants to take part in forwarding answers to the burning challenge that is the transformation of education in a digital world, thanks to a solid knowledge-network composed of members, educators, learners, civil society organisations, national and EU representatives and experts. Hashtag: #lllpac17

LLLAwards 2017: Education in a Digital World
The aim of the Lifelong Learning Award is to give visibility to innovative practices in order to attract public attention on lifelong learning as well as to inspire new practices and policies. The focus of the 2017 LLLAwards edition is education in the digital era. Hashtag: #lllawards
Past events
Root causes of migration analysed - Brussels, 2 February
The European Movement International held an event with Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation & Development to discuss mass population movements from the development perspective.

Youth and Mobility in Post Brexit Europe - London, 20 February
2017 - Erasmus turns 30 and the UK will trigger Brexit. As free movement of people remains uncertain, so does access to Erasmus+ and other European mobility and volunteering programmes for UK nationals. How will this affect youth mobility?
News from the EESC
Circular Economy: one year after adoption, working together for the future - Brussels, 9-10 March
The EESC and the Commission are co-organising this conference with a view to launching a European circular economy stakeholder platform and discuss the state of implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan.

European Migration Forum - 2-3 March, Brussels
The event organised by the EESC and the Commission will address the key issue of ACCESS: migrants' access to Europe, to rights and to services.

European Consumer Day 2017 – Malta, 21 March
Consumers, policy-makers and IT experts will come together to discuss issues affecting digital consumers and to shape the European dialogue about the Digital Single Market. Follow us on Twitter @EuropeanConsume. Hashtags: #EESConsumers #DigitalSingleMarket

Your Europe, Your Say! 2017 kicks off - 30-31 March, Brussels
Young people represent Europe’s future, which is why the EESC has invited 33 secondary-school students in their penultimate year from across the EU and the five candidate countries to discuss Europe’s future.

European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) Day 2017 - Save the date -  Brussels, 11 April
Save the date for our annual conference ECI DAY 2017: I participate! on 11 April. This year we will focus on two themes: the ECI success stories to show how some ECI ideas have actually found their way into European legislation and the theme of "citizens' participation – ECI and beyond", which will investigate further various forms of citizen participation in view of their efficiency, purpose and requirements.
EESC publications & studies
Civil Society Prize
EESC has published a brochure showcasing the five winning projects. The brochure also provides background information about the Civil Society Prize in general and about the EESC’s extensive work towards a pan European migration and asylum policy.
EESC plenary session 22 - 23 February
EESC legislative programme
  • For details on received 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
Commission registers 'Ban Glyphosate' European Citizens' Initiative
A new European Citizens Initiative (ECI) has been launched, inviting the Commission to propose to Member States a ban on glyphosate, to reform the pesticide approval procedure, and to set EU-wide mandatory reduction targets for pesticide use. Read Euractiv's report on this new ECI.

Civil Society United #1
Civil Society, Trade Unions, Regions and NGOs ask Frans Timmermans to propose a Union Pact for Democracy. Read their joint letter to Vice-President of the EC.

Civil Society United #2
The largest EU alliance of social NGOs calls on decision-makers to put social rights at the heart of economic governance .
                  Images courtesy of
Special features
March for Europe - 25 March, Rome
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the Union of European Federalists, the Young European Federalists, The Spinelli Group and Stand Up for Europe call upon European citizens to gather in Rome in a “March for Europe” to show their support for the European project and to urge for a relaunch of European political unity.

Václav Havel Human Rights Prize - call for nominations
Nadia Murad Basee was the courageous Yazidi activist who won the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize last year. Now the call for new nominations is open.

Erasmus turns 30
This insightful map provides an overview of the Erasmus project and helps us understand its huge impact on shaping European society over the last 30 years.

​Lobbyism vs Transparency
Transparency International EU report shows extent of hiring of former EU politicians by lobby organisations.
             Images courtesy of
External links
Look across the border: Empowering women in India
An interesting project raising awareness on violations of the rights of women in rural India and empower women to fight against the role that society has given to them.

Sustainable urban development
Urban Innovative Actions demonstrates 17 city projects as successful experiments of innovative solutions to urban challenges.

In memoriam of Zygmunt Bauman
Here is one of his last interviews where Professor Bauman calls for a united Europe: No More Walls In Europe: Tear Them Down!

Crowd wisdom

Dialogues with the civil society
Nikos Vrantsis uses Albert Hirschman's notions of Exit and Voice to reflect on the limits of traditional political models and highlights the importance of new participatory democratic paradigms that could enrich our political imagination.
                     Images courtesy of
New publications
Youth Action

Volonteurope has recently released its new publication on Apathy or Action: Young Europeans Take a Stand

The future of EMU

European Movement International maps the necessary steps to achieve a fully-fledged Economic and Monetary Union as the only way forward.
Controlling your data

Data Shift is an idea aiming to deliver data control back to the people who produce them.
Links to our members' newsletters

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