Within the ambit of the European Year of Citizens (2013), they explored how the economic, social and civic dimensions of EU citizenship can be mutually reinforcing and meet the public's expectations in a way that reflects the values and goals of the European project.
The Civil Society Day has addressed key issues of active and participatory citizenship against the backdrop of a major financial, economic and social crisis that is in essence undermining democratic processes and challenging the very legitimacy of institutions and public policy at both national and European level.
It is our belief that European citizenship can best be conceived and exercised if it is intrinsically linked to the economic, social and civic life of the European venture and the policies that underpin it. The aim of the event was also to reflect the great variety of forms of expression and commitment across Europe that demonstrates the true meaning of European citizenship.
The annual Civil Society Day is a major EESC initiative, bringing together key players in European and national civil society organisations, business leaders and entrepreneurs, academics, EU policy- and decision-makers and interested media. It provides a forum for dialogue on issues that matter to civil society stakeholders at European level.
It is an opportunity to consider the place and the role of organised civil society within a more participatory democratic set-up and what it can do to help build a European Union in which people can take a more active part in shaping EU policies.
Themes included Africa's new ways for food production and economic development, reform of the Common Agriculture Policy hanging in the balance, protection of the consumer, and the challenges around resource extraction, efficiency, and waste.
Discussions was moderated by BBC's Stephen Sackur, and Matthew Dempsey from "Irish Farmers Journal". International decision makers including as President Barroso of the European Commission, and Bob Zoellick, president of the World Bank (from 2007 to 2012), headline the event. The debates seek to uncover how best to boldly reconcile crop production with ecological preservation.
As world population hits the seven billion mark on its way to 9 billion by 2050, and Africa approaches critical mass in its capacity to become an agricultural powerhouse, FFA panellists had examined what these issues and others mean for the future of EU agriculture and the balance to be struck between production, ecology and EU consumer well-being.
The Brussels Holiday Fair 2013 has started from 31th January till 04th February 2013. Exhibitors, visitors and organisers are looking back on a successful edition with satisfaction. 105,413 visitors (a 3% increase compared to 2012) enjoyed plentiful entertainment, performances and samplings that are traditionally part of the Fair. The 748 exhibitors have nothing than positive feedback about the Belgian holidaymakers who came to Brussels Expo for information and inspiration regarding their next trip. It offered a varied programme of five well-attended workshops geared towards travel professionals. In the evening there was a debate led by international speakers, as well as the very first edition of the Belgian Travel awards whose winners include Jetair, Vacansoleil, MSC Cruises and destinations France and Barcelona. Over 700 travel agents, tour operators and other travel professionals attended the prize-giving ceremony. Croatian National Tourist Board had one of the finest and modern stands, also visited by the representative office of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County in Brussels.
That Croatia is among the best in the EU in the implementation of sustainable energy projects, showed a conference held in Brussels on 22th January 2013., called EU region welcome Croatia into the EU - A Challenge for Sustainable Energy for All, devoted to energy, investments in energy projects, energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The conference was attended by representatives of the European Parliament, the first vice president of the EU Committee of the Regions Mercedes Bresso, High Representative of the European Commission Raphael Goulet, Head of Croatia, Austria and Italy within the Directorate General for Regional Policy, who spoke about the importance of energy in the cohesion policy The EU and its impact on Croatia as the newest member.
Particularly interesting was the presentation of the Karlovac County Prefect Ivan Vučić, who described the story of the success of the project for co-installation of solar collectors, originally designed as a county program 2009 by REGEA, whose popularity grew into a national program that is implemented today nearly 50 counties , cities and municipalities across the Croatia.
The meeting was attended by representatives of Croatian and Ambassador Mario Nobilo, Vladimir Drobnjak, Head of the Mission of Croatia to the EU, and Vesna Tanta, vice president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. Tonino Picula, Croatian observers in the European Parliament, joined the meeting on the final words to convey optimism of European Parliament on the occasion of the forthcoming Croatian accession to the EU.
The list of European regions, and their achievements were demonstrated at the conference. With two European parliamentarians (Sir Graham Watson from Great Britain and Phil Prendergast from Ireland) their outcomes showed directors and leading experts in energy agencies of Berlin, Upper Austria, Basque Country, southwest England and Ireland as the country currently holds the EU presidency. The importance of cooperation among all the regions in the new, enlarged Europe voiced Mercedes Bresso, first vice president of the Committee of Regions.
22.01.2013. EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn presented the state of play of the budget and legislative negotiations on the future regional policy for 2014-2020 and the preparation of the new programmes at the first bi-annual meeting of 2013 between the Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) and representatives from regional offices in Brussels.
The European Commission has produced a document in which put forward the views on how Croatia should focus in attracting funds from the EU budget period 2014th to 2020th, which serves as the basis for the beginning of a dialogue with the Croatian government who need to prepare a framework document for program development.
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