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Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
First of all, I wish you a happy New Year full of success and peace!

The Presidency of the Council of the European Union starting in January 2017 will be the first time for the Republic of Malta. For that reason the European Economic and Social Committee Plenary Session will feature a presentation on the priorities of the Maltese Presidency on 25 January by Dr Ian Borg, Parliamentary Secretary for the EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds. At a time when European Union cohesion is being put to the test it falls to Malta to play an important part in contributing to unity rather than dividing or making unilateral decisions. I am convinced that Malta is capable of successfully ushering in a new era for Europe. I am particularly pleased to see that the Maltese Presidency priorities include proposals made by our Committee.

The other key debate of 25 January will focus on the European pillar of social rights on the occasion of the adoption of an EESC opinion (SOC/542) on the same topic with the participation of Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility and Maria João Rodrigues, European Parliament's rapporteur on the same topic. Creating a pillar of social rights should draw upon and expand the EU's social acquis to signal the direction to be taken by policies in a number of areas crucial to the smooth and fair operation of the labour markets and social protection systems. The Committee supports this proposal from the Commission, in the interest of the European citizens, the EU as well as its institutions, and hopes that the Maltese Presidency will help move things in the direction.

On 26 January we will have the pleasure of welcoming Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs for a debate on the current state of the European economy and on the prospect of deepening the EMU.

I will be glad to welcome you at our plenary session on 25-26 January 2017. To that end, I would like to invite you to register via the e-mail address below so I can reserve a good seat for you.

Best regards,

Georges Dassis
EESC President

The Plenary Session can be followed via webstreaming.
Main opinions to be discussed during the upcoming session
  • Copyright package (INT/804), Mr Mendoza Castro (Gr. II-ES)
  • European Pillar of Social Rights (SOC/542), Mr Krawczyk (Gr. I-PL), Ms Bischoff (Gr. II-DE), Mr Jahier (Gr. III-IT)
  • European Gigabit Society (TEN/611), Mr Samm (Gr. I-DE)
  • Internet connectivity in local communities (TEN/614), Mr Fatovic (Gr. II-IT)

Main opinions adopted during the previous session
  • Summary of adopted opinions
  • Aviation package II (TEN/597), Mr Hencks (Gr. II-LU)
  • The functional economy (INT/784), Mr Libaert (Gr. III-FR)
  • Communication on the collaborative economy (INT/793), Mr Trias Pintó (Gr. III-ES)
  • Enhancement of the EU-Turkey bilateral trade relations and the modernisation of the Customs Union (REX/468), Mr Dimitriadis (Gr. I-EL)
  • Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive (96/71/EC) (SOC/541), Ms Drbalová (Gr. I-CZ) and Ms Nygren (Gr. II-SE)
  • Towards applying Nudge Thinking to EU policies (NAT/685), Mr Libaert (Gr. III-FR)
  • Promoting innovative and high growth firms (ECO/403), Mr García del Riego (Gr. I-ES)
  • Limits for companies' transparency requirements (ECO/404), Ms Drbalová (Gr. I-CZ)
  • Regulation amending the European Venture Capital Fund (EuVECA) and European Social Entrepreneurship (EuSEF) Fund regulations (ECO/413), Mr Guerini (Gr. III-IT)
  • Extension of the duration of EFSI (EFSI 2.0) (ECO/416), Mr Mazzola (Gr. I-IT)

Upcoming events
Ongoing events
Past events
News from the ESCs
  • EU2020 Steering Committee meeting with participation of national ESCs - Brussels, 7 February 2017
  • High level conference to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome - Rome, Italy, 13 March 2017 
  • Annual meeting of Presidents and Secretaries-General of the national ESCs of the EU and the EESC - Malta, 22-23 June 2017

European Economic and Social Committee
Rue Belliard 99, 1040 Brussels