Tag Archives: civil society

EESC Civil Society Days 2022 – Register now!

In the aftermath of the pandemic, Europe is facing unprecedented and pressing challenges. With the Conference on the Future of Europe close to the final stages of its work to address these challenges, the 2022 hybrid edition of Civil Society Days will explore how Europe can become more resilient through a just transition; one that will benefit people and the environment and, at the same time, increase European prosperity.

Join online the discussions with our distinguished speakers, who will be sharing their views on the challenges of a fit-for-future economy that creates shared prosperity, and take part in our seven workshops to explore the key role of civil society in this endeavour.

Your participation and input are most welcome!

Please find the draft agenda here.

Register here by 10 March.

Take a minute to watch our teaser video here 📽️ and feel free to share this invitation with your networks!

Follow the EESC Liaison Group on Twitter. #CivSocDays

For any questions related to the event, please contact Ms Karen Serafini by e-mail or by telephone (+32(0)2 546 94 45).

Should you wish to be informed about further civil society events, please click here.

Lifelong Learning Lab 1-2 June Recap

The Lifelong Learning Lab took place online at the beginning of June, bringing together over 100 participants to form a space of dialogue and discussion around a number of topics related to EU decision making, the feasibility of  establishing lifelong learning platforms at the national level, and in relation to broadening the collaborative scope of civil society organisations as a means for strengthening their influence in EU decision making arenas.

The discussions that emerged where both fruitful and forward looking in orientation. It was emphasised that, now more than ever, lifelong learning needs to be positioned as key policy tool, not only as a means for building the capacity of individuals to deal with changes in the labour market; but also to afford people the opportunity to develop personally and collectively, and to benefit from the intrinsic value of learning – at any point in their lives, regardless of financial means or age.

Looking further, the event also shed light on the value that collaboration can bring for civil society organisations, not only in relation to realising common concerns, but also in relation to influencing EU decision making, and making the voice of civil society a permanent fixture in policy arenas. Stronger together was the chief message. As a closing remark it is perhaps best to consider the final words voiced in the event:

It is hoped that the event will pave the way for a renewed emphasis on the importance of civil society cooperation and the feasibility of establishing national lifelong learning platforms. The need is great, and the time is right.

Here are a few resources we would like to share with you: The recording of the first day and the recording of the second day respectively.

Civil Society Convention on the Future of Europe – Fundraising Campaign

The Civil Society Convention on the Future of Europe gathers over 75 European networks and platforms with constituencies all across Europe,  uniting millions of citizens active in all areas of life: from education to culture, social inclusive, environment, governance and transparency. The Convention was established in February and is actively engaged to scrutinise the democratic functioning of the Conference on the Future of Europe  and ensure a real involvement of citizens and their representative associations in this process.

The Convention is about to kick off and the members of the Steering Committee have prepared a fundraising campaign in order to cover the costs of coordinating the process (approximately €50,000 to cover staff and other organisational costs in 2021). In this regard, the fundraising campaign is addressed to several MEPs to whom we have sent a letter inviting them to support the Convention with a donation of €1000 per MEP office.

The letters have been sent on behalf of Civil Society Europe representing the Convention (see template). However, we invite you to follow up and support the fundraising campaign by approaching the MEPs you may already have contact with. Nevertheless, note that the contact process should be coordinated in order to avoid overwhelming individual MEPs. Please find here attached a spreadsheet document in order to do so.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact CSE secretariat: contact@civilsocietyeurope.eu

Civil Society Europe – The conference on the Future of Europe must include civil society

Civil Society Europe calls on the co-chairs of the EU institutions to include the Civil Society Convention in the composition of the Board of the Conference on the Future of Europe by the next meeting of the Executive Board on 7 April .

The Executive Board of the Conference on the Future of Europe in charge of steering the process met for the first time on 24 March to discuss the organisation and functioning of the Conference as well as a timetable of main activities.

Civil Society Europe welcomes the inclusion of social partners – Business Europe and the European Trade Union Confederation – as observers in the Executive Board. The EU treaties (Art. 10 and 11 TEU) provide for open, regular and transparent dialogue with representative associations and civil society. Civil Society Europe thus demands that European civil society organisations are given equal treatment.

Read the full statement here. 

EDEN – Education in time of new normal

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, universities worldwide faced the need to move all their classes to an online environment overnight, in order to ensure continuation of their teaching and learning activities. Institutions that had already ventured onto the path of online education realised this transformation much more quickly than those who were less prepared. Others made the transition more modestly, only beginning to take the first steps into online education. In a remarkable short time, courses and exams across the globe moved online, ensuring that universities did not close but rather adapted to the new situation and by doing so managed to save the remainder of the academic year.

Having overcome the initial impact of the pandemic and having moved beyond immediate crisis management, university leaders are now taking the time to reflect on the lessons learned, to set new strategies for the future, and to fully prepare their institutions for the new academic year. Although some continue to hope that students will soon return to classrooms, others see the COVID-19 crisis as a catalyst for educational organisations to implement online teaching and learning systematically and to thus offer a better quality of education in this age of the new normal. What are the key leadership decisions that organisational leaders must make in creating their vision for the future? What short-term and long-term strategies are needed? How can leadership ensure a smooth transition to the online setting and create the necessary infrastructure for training teachers, and implementing new teaching methods and redesigned curricula? How can universities manage their transition to online while improving the quality of teaching and learning? These are some of the questions we will be addressing in the first two webinars of the EDEN webinar initiative Education in time of a new normal (September 14 and 21).

Aimed at policy makers and organisational leaders and management, but also for all those working in education, these webinars will provide practical insights and tips from well-known experts, leaders, and practitioners in the field of e-learning and online learning.

Join the sessions and participate in discussions, where you will get the ideas you need to turn your vision for the future into actionable steps. Get the answers you need for smoothly leading your organisation in transforming your curriculum to online and ensuring high quality teaching and learning.

Read more and join the webinars!

The LLLPlatform announces its General Assembly 2020

The Lifelong Learning Platform is delighted to announce that it will be holding its 2020 General Assembly on 25 September. The GA will be held in an online format due to the restrictions on meetings and travels, and will see the participation of the whole membership.

Members will gather to discuss the general direction of the LLLP, and will also proceed to the election of four new Steering Committee members. The rotation system has it that three members of the Steering Committee will end their mandate this year, and two more resigned in the last year; the General Assembly will thus be tasked with electing these new representatives, a stated in our statutes and internal rules. Members of the LLLPlatform are currently presenting their applications, with a deadline on 4 September.

The General Assembly will also elect a new President for LLLP, as Luis Costa’s mandate is coming to an end. As our statutes and internal rules state, the new President shall be elected between the Steering Committee members whose mandate has been lasting for at least one year.

During the General Assembly members will be discussing the next cycle of the Erasmus+ programme as well as the LLLP positions on Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Societies and the role of education in active citizenship. The E&T post-2020 policy developments will be part of the discussions too. Two Working Groups will also take place.

The General Assembly will also be an occasion to vote on and welcome new members in the LLLP family. The LLLPlatform also invites interested organisations to come forward and apply as members of the Platform. If you are interested to become a member of the LLLP and would like to learn more about the procedures and added value, find more info here. Deadline for applications is 25 August 2019.

Please get in touch with the LLLPlatform for any other matter.

Bridge47 roadmap – what more can we do to reach SDG 4?

The Bridge 47 network, coordinated by Fingo Finland, met in early November in Helsinki for the Envision 4.7 event to discuss European agenda alignment with the SDG goal 4 and its Target 4.7. 

Target 4.7 postulates that:

“By 2030, [we should] ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”

The meeting outcome is a roadmap co-designed by participants. The Lifelong Learning Platform had an active role in the drafting process of the roadmap and it is happy to share the same commitment that the main organisers have shown throughout the process. 

The meeting in Helsinki gathered stakeholders from all sectors and levels of policy and decision making both from the development cooperation sector and the education and training sector. The participants have been calling for more synergies between stakeholders and stronger commitment of EU Member States as well as regional and local level authorities to achieve target 4.7. LLLP holds that more cooperation and dialogue between different stakeholders is key to adapt and meet challenges that arise in modern societies. 

The meeting served a long-awaited purpose: to create a real bridge between the education and the development cooperation sectors and stakeholders, something that is today possible. While civil society commitment is clear and sustainable, a lot still needs to be done by the European and international institutions, by Members States and all policy-makers. 

SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards 2020 – The Progressive Civil Society Award

What are the Silver Rose Awards?
Since the year 2000, SOLIDAR organises annually its Silver Rose Awards in the European Parliament in cooperation with the S&D Group, an occasion to celebrate Civil Society Organisations and individuals whose extraordinary struggles contribute greatly to social justice and solidarity throughout the world.

Who nominates? Who decides?
Nominations are made by Civil Society Organisations and selected by a jury composed of its representatives, trade unionists and policymakers. The winners are chosen based on their significant involvement in Civil Society activities and their contribution to social justice and solidarity worldwide.
The ceremony brings together a wide audience of like-minded individuals with backgrounds in civil society, trade union and politics, to strengthen once again our alliance and inspire us all to make our efforts and activities matter to achieve a world with social justice and solidarity.

Who are the previous winners?
The people and organisations who have had the honour to come up on the Silver Rose stage to receive their award vary from grassroots human rights activists to academics who have done research on the societal consequences of inequality, to undercover journalists who have shunned light on lower-class working conditions.
Former winners of the SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards include; Juan Somavia (2005), the former General Director of the International Labor Organization, the Sudan Organisation Against Torture (2006), Aminatou Haidar (2007), Western Sahara human rights defender, Plataforma de Mujeres Aristas contra la Violencia de Genero (2007), Spanish group of musicians, the Columbian Trade Union Federations (2010), Gunter Wallraff (2015), German author and undercover journalist, and many more.

Where can I register to attend the event?
In November 2019, SOLIDAR opened a special page dedicated to the registration for the Silver Rose Awards ceremony, taking place in February 2020.

Read more and apply here!

New – Erasmus+ survey 2019

The 2019 Erasmus+ Survey is out!

The Lifelong Learning Platform organises a yearly evaluation of the implementation of the Erasmus+ programme. The survey aims to provide decision-makers with an evaluation coming from the programme’s direct beneficiaries on what works and what could be improved. Because of this, the survey is targetted to civil society organisations who benefitted from the Erasmus+ funds in 2018!

The survey contains questions on various aspects related for instance to the application procedures, to the relations with the national and European agencies, the financial rules and the reporting processes.

Take the 2019 Erasmus+ Survey here

11th edition of the EESC Civil Society Prize

The specific objective of the 2019 Civil Society Prize is to reward innovative initiatives carried out on the territory of the EU which aim to raise awareness of and fight for gender equality in the EU. In the context of this prize, gender equality is understood to mean not only equal rights, but also equal opportunities, responsibility, empowerment and participation in all spheres of economic and social life.

Applications are to be made by filling in the online application form before September 6th. Click here for more information on the terms of references and the criteria