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Liaison Group with European civil society organisations and networks
OCTOBER 2015
 I had the honour and pleasure to be invited by Georges Dassis to his inauguration as president of the European Economic and Social Committee in front of a partly renewed assembly.

The Committee represents many common interests, giving us the means to better understand and tackle the economic, social and political crisis confronting Europe today, a crisis that is making people turn away from the noble ideal of European integration and democracy.

The slogan for Willy Brandt’s 1972 election campaign was Dare more democracy. Let me suggest a similar motto to the Members for the new term: Dare more Europe, a more social Europe!

The Committee should use its position as a European institution to improve policy-making. Even if we are often focused on what is not working in Europe, we should build upon recent successes, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the social protection floor of the International Labour Organization and the Commission's recently presented pillar of social rights.

Civil society is an important player at European, national, regional and local level, and our Liaison Group plays a vital role in defending and implementing Article 11 of the Treaty of Lisbon. We have contributed to many initiatives, including the Rio+20 agenda, the European Year of Citizens, and promoting civil society in the Euromed region. And we will continue to facilitate contacts between EESC members representing civil society at national level and the European networks.

I would also like to strongly recommend that the Committee set a more ambitious agenda for the European Migration Forum. There are human tragedies in the Mediterranean and on the Balkan route that call for humanitarian solutions, including legal channels for migration, shelter and a package of emergency services.

This is the real and urgent challenge for Europe. We should rethink the Juncker investment plan so that it includes investment in education, qualifications, training and social housing, and social and public services, to enable our societies to integrate the migrants and refugees.

We need to send a clear signal to populists and extremists. Europe is too precious to leave the initiative to them.

I have urged the newly assembled Committee to use its position as a European institution not for better regulation, but for better policy-making, for policies that deliver. I am looking forward to us working together
.
 
Conny Reuter
Secretary General of SOLIDAR 
Co-chair of the Liaison Group
 
News from the Liaison Group
 
 
Following the renewal of the EESC for its mandate 2015-2018, the composition of the Liaison Group changes as concerns the EESC part.
 
It is to be reminded that the EESC members of the Liaison Group are: the President of the EESC, its two Vice-Presidents, the Presidents of the three Groups, the Presidents of the Sections, as well of the CCMI and of the Europe 2020 Steering group. The new chair is George Dassis, who replaces outgoing President Henry Malosse, and the new EESC Members are the following (in the alphabetical order): P.A. Almeida Freire, E. Baráth, G. Bischoff, B. Burns, P.J. Coulon,  G. Dassis, L. Jahier, B. King, J. Krawczyk, G. Lobo Xavier, M. Siecker, D. Slavova, M. Smyth, L. Studnicna, P. Trantina, C.M. Trindade, J. van Iersel.
 
 
News from the CSO members of the Liaison Group
 
 
14 international organizations call on the European Commission to produce
a White Paper on Rurality. The position paper of the European Countryside
Movement explains the need and the urgency of that Paper.
Become supporter of our call !

 
 
 Ready, Steady, Coop! - a practical guide for cooperative startups
 
Cooperatives Europe together with its partners of the CoopStarter project released ‘Ready, Steady, Coop!’, a guide for cooperative start-ups. The publication is a practical tool designed for cooperative development agencies that support cooperators during the first phase of setting up their businesses. This publication is the outcome of the work carried out by the partners of the CoopStarter project, which has ended this September.

 
 
 
12 November 2015, European Parliament, Brussels
As part of the DESC project, L’ADAPT and its European partners organise an International conference to launch the 2015 European Disability Employment Week. The conference will include an afternoon session with a Job dating and the presentation of a guide on best practices on supported employment elaborated by the partners of DESC project.
 
 
News from the EESC
 
 
Conferences and events 
 
 
First European Microfinance Day
"What if we could turn job seekers into job creators?"
 
19-20 October 2015, Brussels
 
 
The 1st European Microfinance Day (EMD) aims to raise awareness of microfinance as a tool to fight social exclusion and unemployment in Europe. A central European event is organised in partnership with the EESC in Brussels. A multitude of workshops, debates, expositions, meetings, etc. will take place at local level all across the EU-28. The opening session will be honoured by the presence of Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium and will welcome the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Ms Marianne Thyssen, as keynote speaker
 

 
EESC Opinions adopted relevant to Civil Society Organisations
  • EESC opinion on Improving the functioning of the European Union building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty and on possible evolutions and adjustments of the current institutional set-up of the European Union. As a representative of European organised civil society, the EESC was asked by the European Parliament to examine how the functioning of the EU could be improved by building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty and to reflect on possible developments and adjustments to the EU's current institutional set-up. In its opinion, the Committee stressed that democracy and accountability are fundamental to European citizenship and that this dimension of the Lisbon Treaty must be fully and systematically implemented.

  • EESC opinion on EC communication Better regulation for better results  – An EU agenda

  • Other adopted EESC opinions can be consulted here

 
 
EESC Opinions in the pipeline

 
 
EESC studies
 
Civil dialogue in the EU
 
What is the Structured Dialogue?

The Structured Dialogue is a process for discussions between young people and policy makers about different themes, to make sure the opinions of young people are taken into account in defining the EU’s youth policies.
The themes for dicussion are decided at European level. 
 
 
The  European Youth Forum is responsible for coordinating the process and deciding upon sets of questions to be asked to young people across Europe twice a year. These questions are then used as the basis for national consultations in each EU country, which are organised by National Working Groups, and in most cases they are led by youth councils and include other youth organisations and stakeholders.  
 
 

European Economic and Social Committee
Rue Belliard 99, BE-1040 Brussels