Click here if you are having trouble viewing this message.
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn GooglePlus
Liaison Group with European civil society organisations and networks
JULY 2016
The Europe we want, the Europe we need!

Europe has not changed over the past week, but the challenges have become clearer. A majority of the British people has expressed the wish to leave the European Union, a decision which we respect, but regret because of its negative consequences for the British people and for Europe.

Ever since the United Kingdom joined the European Union, a series of unfortunate compromises have been made, finally culminating in "Brexit". For too long, the Union has been blackmailed and has given way on too many issues. All of which has brought us to where we are now. The vote represents a historic break with the notion that European integration is a project that will help overcome the divisions among states and peoples and ensure that everyone enjoys prosperity, well-being and peace.

Unfortunately, in recent years and particularly since the beginning of the financial crisis, Member States have moved away from the full text of the declaration here.

    Georges DASSIS, EESC President 
Conny REUTER, Secretary General of Solidar
Co-chairs of the Liaison Group
BREXIT special – statements of Liaison Group organisations


On the evening of Tuesday 14 June, the European Movement International invited a number of distinguished speakers to discuss whether the rest of Europe cares about Brexit in light of the UK Referendum on its EU membership on 23 June. The Panel, which was moderated by Peter Foster, Europe Editor of the Daily Telegraph, put forward their beliefs to the audience that Europe does indeed care about Brexit. Panelists MEP Danuta Hübner, MEP David McAllister, Lucinda Creighton, former Europe Minister in Ireland, Giles Merritt, Friends of Europe, and Pierre Baussand, Social Platform shared their views with the audience. Read more .
News from the CSO members of the Liaison Group
Mid-term review of the Europe for Citizens programme
The Europe for Citizens programme is currently under revision. The Commission is expected to launch a public consultation later in the Autumn, and the European Parliament (Culture and Education Committee) is already work ing on an own initiative. With its survey, ECAS aims at gathering the views of different beneficiaries of and participants in the programme to put forward key recommendations for improvement which can be useful to inform decision-makers.
European Movement International (EMI) publishes
Looking forward to the second semester of 2016, with the Slovak Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the European Movement has published a new version of its ‘Semester Calendar’. The calendar can be downloaded online and upon request a hard copy can be collected. Furthermore, the European Movement has developed a series of online cards that illustrate the benefits of EU membership and can be shared on social media.
8 September 2016, Brussels
The Conference will gather high level speakers to engage them in a constructive debate on the various dimensi ons of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The rise of drug-resistant infections is the biggest threat to public health of our times and poses a life-or-death challenge to our health systems. It requires an urgent policy response at European, national and global levels. But is the EU itself resisting the call to take new measures which are up to the challenge of protecting public health? European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) will bring our unique civil society perspective to this debate.

The European Citizenship Awards 2016 are a joint initiative between Volonteurope and the European Civic Forum, two European networks which promote active citizenship and recognition of the importance of social justice to the cohesion of communities across Europe. The awards celebrate the democratic and civic engagement of individuals, organisations, citizens’ groups, media platforms and social enterprises. They recognise innovative initiatives and contributions which give real substance to European values, create ownership of public space and improve the lives of our communities in terms of democracy, social justice and universal access to rights.


26 September 2016, Trier, Germany
The EFC Disability Thematic Network is cooperating with the Academy of European Law (ERA) and the European Disability Forum in the organisation of six seminars on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and EU disability law.

The aim of this seminar is to provide legal practitioners, NGOs and equality bodies as well as academics with the necessary knowledge and legal tools to use the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), combined with relevant EU law in their daily practice.

Past events
The Lifelong Learning Platform celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. At the occasion, a new logo, website and name as well as a clear political agenda with a Manifesto was adopted. Discover more in the 10th anniversary video.
CONCORD (European NGO confederation for relief and development) released its Annual Report for 2015. It contains an overview of CONCORD activities an d successes over 2015. On top, financial information, membership updates and statutory documents can be found in this report gathering everything you need to know about our confederation.
20 June 2016, Brussels
“Consumers shaping the digital economy” was t he topic of the Digiforum organised by BEUC (The e-European Consumer Organisation ) on 20 June. Its aim was to identify what is needed for consumers to drive this digital market place.
13 June 2016, Brussels
This conference was organised in the framework of the CONCORD Europe's General Assembly 2016. The session addressed the following questions: What are the limitations and regulations of civic space? What threatens civil society and its freedoms?
News from the EESC
Deadline for submitting applications:
9 September 2016
The 2016 prize of a total value of 50 000 € will reward initiatives carried out by civil society organisations and/or individuals and aimed at improving migrants' lives and fostering their integration in society.

The aim of the annual Civil Society Prize, which will be awarded on 15 December 2016, is to reward and encourage tangible initiatives and achievements by civil society organisations and/or individuals that have made a significant contribution to promoting European identity and integration. Its overall objective is to raise awareness of the contribution that civil society organisations and/or individuals can make to the creation of a European identity and citizenship in a way that underpins the common values that shore up European integration.

Past events 
31 May - 1 June 2016
The 2016 Civil Society Days dealt with the question of migration, integration and inclusion as well as the balance between security and freedom. For two days, over 200 participants discussed in various workshops, organised by the EESC and various Liaison Group organisations. You can now consult the conference report, download the presentations or see if you can spot yourself in some pictures.

4-5 July 2016, Nairobi, Kenia
On the basis of the Cotonou agreement, the EESC is mandated to organise consultation sessions and meetings of ACP-EU economic and social interest groups in order to voice these actors' views on the ACP-EU partnership and foster cooperation between civil society organisations. Within this framework, the EESC organises regional seminars every year in one of the ACP regions. The EESC will invite around 60 representatives of economic and social actors as well as political authorities and international organisations.
A Hope for Europe!
20-21 June 2016, EESC, Brussels
The event organised by the EESC in partnership with the Culture and Education Committee (EP), the Council of Europe and the Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar) explored how, why and when culture matters today in Europe.

The event also provided the opportunity for the presentation of the eponymous study by Culture Action Europe and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG-Agenda 21 for culture).


opinions and debates relevant to Civil Society Organisations

EESC Legislative programme
(received referrals allocated to Sections in July 2016)
  • For details on received referrals as well expected referrals and exploratory opinions click here
  • Are you interested in getting information or in bringing input to one of the opinions? Do not hesitate to contact the relevant Section secretariat

EESC studies

EESC Newsletters
Civil dialogue in the EU
A new European Platform on undeclared work was launched on 27/05/2016. The network aims at turning undeclared into declared work, thus ensuring social protection for millions of Europeans who lose out through various kinds of risky job arrangement s, including dependent work relationships hidden.

The Platform, chaired by the European Commission, is composed of the relevant authorities of all Member States and representatives of cross-industry social partners on EU level.


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