The European Economic and Social Committe (EESC) will debate the citizens’ right to initiate legislative action, as introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, in a thematic debate at the EESC plenary session on 17 and 18 March 2010.
On Wednesday 17 March, following a welcome address by EESC President Mario Sepi, the Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament, Mr Libor Roucek and Ms Isabelle Durant, will take the floor to discuss how European citizens can get more directly involved in European affairs thanks to the Lisbon Treaty. In addition, a specific opinion on the role of participatory democracy, drawn up by rapporteur Ms Anne-Marie Sigmund (Group III, Various Interests, Austria) will also be discussed. The own initiative opinion by Mr Miklós Barabás (Group III, Various Interests, Hungary) deals with the special role of civil society organisations.
Another prominent speaker will be Mr Martin Mansergh, Irish Minister of State.
On Thursday 18 March, Mr Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for inter-institutional relations and administration, will open the debate on cooperation between the Commission and the EESC. He will also discuss the Europe 2020 Strategy, the Commission’s new initiative for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The following major opinions are also on the plenary session agenda:
– Rapporteur Mr Lutz Ribbe (Group III, Various Interests, Germany) will introduce the Committee’s opinion on what form the Common Agricultural Policy should take after 2013 on the expiry of the current CAP.
– Rapporteur Mr Stéphane Buffetaut (Group I, Employers, France) will outline how European transport policy will tally with the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy.
– Rapporteur Ms Laura González de Txabarri Etxaniz (Group II, Employees, Spain) will summarise the roadmap for equality between women and men (2006-2010) and will outline a follow‑up strategy.