EESC - Meeting with the representatives of civil society from moldova and ukraine


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European Economic and Social Comittee: Meeting with the representatives of civil society from Moldova and Ukraine, February 28, 2011.

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EESC - Meeting with the representatives of civil society from moldova and ukraine

  1. 1. Meeting with the representatives of civil society from Moldova and Ukraine EESC, February 28, 2011
  2. 2. What is the EESC? <ul><li>The EESC is a consultative body of the EU </li></ul><ul><li>Treaty of Lisbon 2009 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Representatives of organisations of employers, of the employed, and of other parties representative of civil society, notably in socio-economic, civic, professional and cultural areas </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Institutional position of the EESC European Commission
  4. 4. What is the structure of the EESC? <ul><li>It is an assembly of 344 members from the 27 Member States of the EU. </li></ul><ul><li>Members are appointed for a renewable five-year term . </li></ul><ul><li>They are appointed by the Council of Ministers on the basis of lists drawn up by national governments. </li></ul>
  5. 5. An assembly divided into three GROUPS <ul><li>Group I – Employers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public and private sectors of industry, commerce, finance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Group II – Employees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National trade union confederations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Group III – Various Interests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Farmers, consumers, the social economy, craftsmen and SMEs , social and environmental NGOs, the professions… </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The activities of the EESC <ul><li>The role of the Committee is to issue opinions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(approx. 200 per year) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Committee may be consulted by the Council, the European Commission or the European Parliament </li></ul><ul><li>Mandatory or optional referrals </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, the EESC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>has the right of initiative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>may receive re q uests for exploratory opinions by the Council, the Commission and the EU Parliament </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>takes on the role of facilitator and promoter of civil dialogue within and outside the EU </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Section for External Relations of the EESC <ul><li>The Section for External Relations of the EESC comprises 135 members </li></ul><ul><li>Its role is to monitory relations of the EU with third countries and regions and to develop relations with civil society organisations in these countries </li></ul><ul><li>It is active in 4 areas: external policy of the EU, enlargement, trade and development </li></ul>
  8. 8. The EESC and the Eastern Partnership Countries <ul><li>In July 2004, the EESC has established the Eastern Neighbours Contact Group as the main EESC body responsible for relations with civil society in the Eastern Neighbourhood countries. </li></ul><ul><li>The main objective is to enhance relations with civil society organisations in the region and to involve them into a dialogue with both their national policy makers and the EU organised civil society . </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimate aim is to establish permanent structures for dialogue and cooperation between the EESC and organised civil society in the countries of the region. These structures could serve to monitor the negotiations and the implementation of Association Agreements and DCFTA. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Work already achieved with the Eastern Neighbours <ul><li>EESC opinion on civil society involvement in implementing the ENP Action Plans in the countries of the Southern Caucasus in 2009 and presentation of this opinion in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan </li></ul><ul><li>EESC opinion on involvement of civil society in the Eastern Partnership in 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>EESC-ILO Conference in 2009 on civil and social dialogue in the Eastern Partnership and Black Sea countries </li></ul>
  10. 10. Work already achieved with the Eastern Neighbours <ul><li>Organisation of third seminar in 2010 with the NTSEC of Ukraine and other representatives of Ukrainian civil society on the role of civil society in EU-Ukraine relations </li></ul><ul><li>Visit of representatives of Moldovan civil society to the EESC in order to access the possibility for structured cooperation with the Moldovan civil society </li></ul><ul><li>Participation of the EESC in the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and the Eastern Partnership Intergovernmental Platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Objective: work with EaP civil society and the EU and EaP partner countries authorities towards including provisions in Association Agreements and DCFTAs on establishment of joint civil society bodies in charge of monitoring the implementation of these Agreements </li></ul>
  11. 11. Current work related to Eastern Neighbourhood <ul><li>Preparation of three opinions related to the Eastern Partnership: </li></ul><ul><li>Contribution of civil society to the Eastern Partnership </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of Neighbourhood Policy do we need to ensure security of supply for the EU? </li></ul><ul><li>Eastern Partnership and the Eastern Dimension of the EU policies, with particular emphasis on the EU agricultural policy </li></ul>
  12. 12. Foreseen seminars with Civil Society <ul><li>Ukraine – September 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Moldova – October 2011 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Examples that could be used - Joint consultative committees with accession countries <ul><li>The EESC have established Joint Consultative Committees (JCC) with Turkey, Croatia and FYROM, comprising EESC members and representatives of the civil society (business, trade unions, other interest groups) of the countries concerned. </li></ul><ul><li>JCCs meet twice a year to discuss different topics of mutual interest and relevant for civil society. The main purpose is to ensure the involvement of organised civil society in the accession negotiation process and to address recommendations to the negotiators. </li></ul><ul><li>JCCs enable civil society representatives in these countries to become acquainted with the process of consultation taking place within the EU and more generally with the dialogue between social and civil partners in the EU . </li></ul><ul><li>JCCs foster public debate and awareness about EU membership rights and obligations and facilitate the process of institution-building and the consolidation of civil society organisations. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Examples that could be used <ul><li>Association Agreement between the EU and Central America, signed in 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>This Agreement creates a Joint Civil Society Consultative Committee, which will act as consultative body of the Association Council within the agreement. The JCC is composed by members of the EESC on the EU side and by representatives of the SICA-Consultative Committee (CC-SICA) and of the Economic Integration Consultative Committee (CCIE) of the Central America Side . </li></ul><ul><li>Free Trade Agreements with Colombia and Peru, signed in 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>These agreements comprise a chapter on sustainable development that covers labour, social and environmental issues . </li></ul><ul><li>The sustainable development chapter foresees yearly meetings of the &quot;Trade Council&quot; with civil society . </li></ul><ul><li>Other examples that could be used – Korea, Cariforum, etc, which foresee different levels of involvement of civil society in Association and Free Trade Agreements. </li></ul>
  15. 15. The EESC’s position regarding Agreements with the EaP countries <ul><li>The EESC insists on inclusion of provision on joint civil society bodies in all Association Agreements with EaP countries . Given the level of ambition of these Association Agreements, these bodies should : </li></ul><ul><li>a) be composed of an equal number of employers, trade unions and other economic and social organisations from both sides </li></ul><ul><li>b) have consultative function and mandate within the Agreements </li></ul><ul><li>c) have the possibility to address recommendations to the Association Council on their own initiative </li></ul><ul><li>The involvement of civil society should also be foreseen in all DCFTA , especially on issues related to sustainable development, environment and labour. </li></ul><ul><li>To achieve this - there is need for greater involvement of business community of partner countries in EaP activities (EaP Civil Society Forum, follow-up of intergovernmental platforms and negotiations) and for enhanced cooperation with the European organisations, and in particular with the EESC . </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>For more information - </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you very much for your attention </li></ul>