NEWS

WHITE PAPER ON THE FUTURE OF EUROPE - DEBATE WITH CIVIL SOCIETY IN BULGARIA, ORGANIZED BY THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE ECONOMIC AND THE SOCIAL COUNCIL OF BULGARIA

On 1 March 2017, the European Commission published White Paper on the Future of Europe" Reflections and scenarios for the EU-27 by 2025", which identifies possible paths for Europe's future. The White Paper presents five scenarios that offer insight into the potential future state of the Union, depending on the choices that Europe will make.

The White Paper marks the beginning, not the end of this debate, and the goal is before the European Parliament elections in June 2019 to present a plan, a vision and a road map for the future of Europe. The future of Europe will be one of the important issues discussed during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Bulgaria should use this opportunity to play a key role in this debate.

The involvement of civil society in this debate is also of paramount importance. Therefore, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)decided to organize discussions in 27 Member States in cooperation with national economic and social councils and to prepare a civil society opinion summarizing the results of these debates. The Bulgarian Economic and Social Council participated actively in this initiative.

The objective of the debate organized in Bulgaria on 2 June from 9.00 to 12.30 hrs in Sofia-Balkan Hotel, Royal Hall 1,was to analyse and evaluate the five scenarios outlined in the White Paper and, if necessary, to propose other possible scenarios for the future of Europe. The debate also served as a critical analysis of the economic and social dimension for the future of Europe.

The debate was opened by Lilyana Pavlova, Minister responsible for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It will be moderated by EESC members Milena Angelova, Plamen Dimitrov and Dilyana Slavova. It will include representatives of employers, trade unions, academics, Minister of Social Policy Bisser Petkov, Chairpersons of the Economic Policy, Social Policy and European Affairs Committees of the 44th National Assembly - Peter Kanev, Hasan Ademovand Kristian Vigenin, as well as other representatives of civil society.

MISSION

“THE CIVIL PARLIAMENT” OF BULGARIA

is the “bridge” between citizens and the national government. Its mission is to support such “bridging” so as to facilitate the communication between the society and the national government. It is the new and modern institution of the civil dialogue.

The ESC's mission is to promote civil society organisations access to and involvement in the process of decision-making on strategic economic and social issues.

The main goal of ESC's operation is to enable different representatives of organised civil society to feel free to state their views whereas unanimity on matters of common interest is encouraged. The Council expresses and protects civil society interests by communicating agreed statements and proposals submitted by its members to the executive and legislative authorities.

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