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Liaison Group with European civil society organisations and networks
APRIL 2017
Europe's pulse is still beating!

Rebirth or commemoration was the question on the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty, and once again it was Civil Society that recalled the promises made by the founding fathers, not only in Rome but in many other European cities where the #Pulse of Europe is beating. As enshrined in the Treaties, Europe is about territorial and social cohesion; it is about democracy and the rule of law. Sometimes the debate on a two- or multi-speed Europe seems to be artificial, since the realities of the situation are even tougher than any theoretical debate: BREXIT is at our door and, with Article 50 being triggered, negotiations will be starting soon. Can there be a "fair" BREXIT when the whole of the "leave" campaign was built upon lies and false information? Is it the wish of the people or only of some of them? Why can there not be a new referendum once the outcome is known and the public are in a position to judge the consequences themselves?

It is above all about people and not about nations. Civil society is the voice of people who engage with issues relating to Europe; we have to defend civic rights and freedoms against attacks from those who would undermine the democratic rule of law and fundamental freedoms, as is the case in Hungary and Poland. It is up to us to boost support for advocates of human and civic rights who are under threat. Our institutional work is at one level, and at another is the defence of civic rights and freedoms and concrete support and empowerment, because if they are under threat, then we are too!

Conny Reuter, Secretary General of Solidar
Co-chair of the Liaison Group
News from the CSO members of the Liaison Group

Families on the Move - Prague, Czech Republic, 12 May
COFACE Families Europe will host its general assembly in Prague. The theme of the conference will be “Families on the Move: Family policy & practice at the centre of Europe to continue driving innovation in family policy and practice in COFACE and beyond.

The Fight Against Homelessness: Solidarity in Action - Gdansk, 18 - 19 May
The European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) annual policy conference will include a series of events, including site visits to view services for people experiencing homelessness in Gdansk.

International Social Housing Festival - Amsterdam, 13 - 23 June
​A global celebration of the long tradition of decent, affordable housing for all aiming to generate convincing responses to current and future challenges. There will be a series of events, exhibitions, meetings, field visits and community activities.

CEV calls for applications for the European Volunteering Capital Competition 2019
The European Volunteering Capital Competition aims to promote volunteering at the local level by giving recognition to municipalities that support and strengthen partnerships with volunteer centres and volunteer-involving organisations and celebrate and promote volunteering and the impact made by volunteers.
Past events
Brexit, Trade and Health - Brussels, 22 March
There is much uncertainty surrounding Brexit, particularly regarding the future trade and investment relationship between the UK and the EU, as well as between the UK and third states. The conference looked at the potential implications of Brexit on trade and investment from the perspective of health.

Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work - Brussels, 13-24 March

Like every year, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) took part in the session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and organised two side events.
News from the EESC

EESC opens its doors to the public 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's achievements over the last 60 years.

​ACP-EU Economic and Social Interest Groups - Brussels, 15-16 May
Under the auspices of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the EESC organises meetings with ACP and EU economic and social interest groups, with delegates from the 78 ACP countries, representatives of the EU institutions, national economic and social councils, the secretariat of the ACP Group of States, EU and ACP states' diplomatic missions, NGOs and other interested parties.

Civil Society Days - Brussels, 26 - 27 June
This year’s edition, entitled ‘The Europe we strive for!’ 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 EESC events 
ECI DAY 2017: Timmermans announces review of the regulation

Commissioner Timmermans chose ECI DAY 2017 to announce a consultation on the ECI and a possible revision of the ECI Regulation in 2017. He also clarified that the Commission would allow for partial registration of initiatives and advise the organisers on the admissible elements of their proposals.

The Commission launched a survey to help stakeholders design a collaborative online platform to support the ECI organisers, which was followed by an evening reception

The EESC launched an HTML version of one of its most popular publications of recent years "The European Passport to Active Citizenship".

Watch a video of the conference

Your Europe – your say 2017: the results

On 30 and 31 March, 100 students and 39 teachers from 33 European countries met at the EESC in Brussels for Your Europe, Your Say! 2017. This year's theme was Europe@60: Where to next?
Over two days, the students discussed and came up with recommendations concerning sustainability, food waste, combatting nationalism and education.
EESC plenary session 26 - 27 April
  • All adopted EESC opinions can be consulted here
EESC legislative programme
  • For details on received referrals and expected referrals allocated to Sections in December, 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
Public consultation on the fund for European aid to the most deprived (FEAD)

The survey questions are tailored to the role of potential respondents in the FEAD. This consultation is carried out in the framework of the mid-term evaluation of the FEAD. The survey is available online until 5 May 2017.

Europe for Citizens - One programme, 500 million voices!

The EU-programme, "Europe for Citizens", enables citizens who work hard to make their communities better places to meet and connect with their peers from all over Europe.
Thanks to this inclusive programme, millions of European citizens from capitals, cities, and villages gained understanding on European history and work, participated in civic life, and engaged in voluntary activities, while European institutions listened to their ideas, needs, and concerns.
Europe for Citizens is the direct phone line accessible to all of us Europeans, to help in building a better Union! Hashtag: #500millionvoices

By Annica Ryngbeck (Social Platform)

Talking youth unemployment at Citizens’ Parliament - Brussels, 21 March

751 European citizens took the seats of MEPs in the European Parliament to participate in a conference called the Citizens’ Parliament. The conference was part of a series of political events to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, and encouraged reflection on how far Europe has come and where it still needs to go.
Topics like youth unemployment, globalisation, security, climate change and the EU after Brexit were debated. Watch the video
Special features
Report on enabling environment for civil society

The Enabling Environment National Assessment (EENA) is a civil society-led process that analyses the extent to which national conditions enable the work of civil society.
The EENA analysis, carried out in 22 countries, explores in particular how laws and regulations relating to civil society are implemented in practice, and how they impact on civil society.
The research reveals that in many cases, CSOs are not free to act without the state’s permission.


The European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, has welcomed the latest steps taken by the Commission to increase the transparency of the on-going Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. She praised the European Parliament and civil society groups who have also pushed for more transparency.

What does the EU do with EUR 292.9 billion? Trace it here! intends to increase transparency of EU-Funds by unravelling how the European Structural Investment Funds are spent. collected and standardised all available beneficiary lists for the ERDF, ESF and CF for the 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 funding periods. These funds are partially funded by the EU and the Member States and allocated by regional authorities to local beneficiaries.
How to make the EU more democratic?

Dr Michaela Glöckler, President of the European Alliance of Applied Anthroposophy, says that citizens must be able to act as free individuals.

Citizen Lobbying: How Your Skills Can Fix Democracy

A TEDex talk by Alberto Alemanno, creator of eLabEurope, a start-up committed to improving civic literacy, engagement and participation by lobbying in the public interest.
Links to our members' newsletters

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