ECAS Newsletter Issue 02/2016

In This Issue 

On 13 January ECAS and the European Movement International (EMI) co-organised a panel debate on the security/rights trade-off, which focused on the measures that are being discussed at EU level to respond to the current security threats and the impact they might have on citizens’ rights.

With the recent agreement on the EU Data Protection Rules and the Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive, which are going to be formally adopted soon by the European Parliament, the security-rights dilemma is more heated than ever. With this in mind, ECAS and the EMI teamed up to facilitate this important debate with citizens.The event featured a panel of 4 experts and gathered over 50 participants.

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ECAS Kicks-Off its DEEP Linking Youth Project on eParticipation

On 20 January 2016 ECAS hosted the Kick-Off Meeting of the Digital Ecosystem for E-Participation Linking Youth (DEEP-linking Youth), a two-year project supported by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme. As the coordinator of this project, ECAS will be implementing DEEP-linking Youth with six organisations based across Europe.

DEEP-linking Youth will strive to be both innovative and experimental, with a focus on using e-participation as an instrument to foster young people’s empowerment and active participation in the EU’s democratic life. 

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On 28 January Assya Kavrakova was invited as a speaker by CEPS to the lunchtime debate on Schengen hosted by Carlos Coelho MEP at the European Parliament, as part of the SOURCE project. 

The debate examined the state of play and latest developments in the Schengen system during 2015 and 2016 and the measures  that have been put forward to address the migration and security challenges. 

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On 29 January the Commission hosted the first meeting of the REFIT Platform in Brussels. This Platform brings together 48 members from a diversity of stakeholders, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and all Member State governments with the goal of making EU legislation and its implementation more efficient and effective in achieving its objectives. 

The REFIT Platform was announced in the 2015 Better Regulation Agenda and is one of the key commitments of  Commission's First Vice-President Frans Timmermans. It consists of two standing groups: the Government Group and the Stakeholders Group, which is made up of civil partners, business representatives, civil society, the EESC and the CoR. 

ECAS' Director, Assya Kavrakova, participated in the meeting as member of the stakeholder group as a civil society representative. She was appointed to this position by Decision of 15 December 2015.

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On 26-27 January representatives of the DG NEAR-funded Framework Partnership Agreement (FPAs) met in Brussels to discuss the sustainability of their actions and to formulate recommendations to DG NEAR for further support of the sustainability of project outcomes and regional network building. 

ECAS participated in the Conference to present the sustainability overview and action plan for 2016-2017 of the Triple A for citizens, access to information, advice and active help project and to put forward its recommendations for the future programming of the Civil Society Facility (CSF) assistance. 

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Members' Corner



The ISMU Foundation - Initiatives and Studies on Multiethnicity is an independent research centre funded in 1992, which promotes research and training activities on migration, integration and the ever-growing ethnic and cultural diversity of contemporary societies. ISMU acts as service provider for national and European institutions, local administrations, schools, welfare agencies, non-profit entities, documentation centres and international agencies.

ISMU was recently involved in two DG HOME-funded research projects: it coordinated the KING project (Knowledge for INtegration Governance) and was a partner of the DIVERSE project (Diversity Improvement as a Viable Enrichment Resource for Society and Economy). KING collected knowledge on migrant integration policies and processes, analyzed in the course of a multidisciplinary research involving over 40 scholars across Europe. DIVERSE concerned diversity management practices in 10 European countries, with a view to foster the equal treatment of migrants and the valorisation of their skills, knowledge and competences. 
Are you an ECAS Member interested in sharing a project or an event with us? Send us a short description and we will include it in our upcoming Newsletter!

EU Updates

Launch of the European Professional Card: A Step Towards the EU-Wide Recognition of Qualifications

The European Professional Card (EPC) is a key element of Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications. It is intended to make it easier for professional qualifications to be recognised across the EU, in line with the Single Market Strategy’s goal to enable Europeans to work wherever they choose, anywhere in the EU.  

Following a public consultation launched in April 2014 on the usefulness and impact of introducing the EPC for seven professions, the European Commission adopted an implementing Regulation in June 2015 on the procedure for issuing this Card, which came into force on 18 January 2016. 

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On 15 December 2015 the European Commission presented a comprehensive package of measures aimed at securing the EU’s external borders and at managing migration flows more effectively. This came in response to the migration pressures and the latest terrorist attacks in Paris and security threats looming over Europe, which have prompted Member States to temporarily re-establish their borders and to take measures to deter migrants’ inflows.

Whilst these measures are aimed at reinforcing the EU common borders and thereby the EU’s internal security, they raise concerns as to the concrete implications they could have for one of the biggest achievements of European integration process, namely the Single Market, and more concretely the freedom of movement of people 

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In December 2015 and January 2016 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued two important rulings on the field of labour in the EU - the latter with implications for the freedom of movement of workers in the EU. 

The first one concerns a case brought by the Commission against Greece on grounds of a breach of the EU Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC), which provides for a maximum weekly working time of 48 hours and for a minimum daily rest period or a compensatory period. The Court concluded that Greece had infringed EU Law by failing to comply with these limits

The second judgement concerns a case brought by the Commission against Cyprus, on the grounds that the Cypriot legislation on pension entitlement is discriminatory and therefore contrary to EU Law, in so far as it deters Cypriot civil servants from leaving Cyprus to work in another Member State by preventing them from aggregating their social security rights. 

Save the Date for ECAS Events!


EU Events Calendar

Civic Engagement, Civil Society and Information

4 February: Forum Citoyennete 2016, asbl Objectief, Brussels (ECAS is there!)
9 February: A New Narrative for Europe Debate Event, DG EAC, Brussels
22 February: European Citizens' Initiative: More Impact, Simpler Rules, EESC, Brussels
10 MarchEuropean Consumer Day 2016, EESC, Brussels
17-19 March: Your Europe Your Say 2016 (this year on the topic of migrants in Europe), EESC, Brussels

EU Governance & Enlargement

16 February: BALKAN PARTNERSHIPS – Strengthening the region’s ties, Friends of Europe
25 FeburaryCivil Society and Beyond: A Joint Dialogue on the European Path,  TURABDER, Belgrade (Serbia)

Migration, Security and Home Affairs

4 FebruaryUnderstanding and Tackling the Migration Challenge: The Role of Research, DG RTD, Brussels
22 February, EESC, Brussels


12-16 May: 3rd European Alcohol Policy Youth, CHAFEA, Bled (Slovenia)

Research, Innovation & Digital Market

11 February: European Digital Learning Network Launch event, Brussels

Social Inclusion, Employment and EU Rights

8-9 FebruaryPromoting decent work on the European labour market. Better compliance and enforcement. EU Presidency, Amsterdam 
25 FebruaryPackage Travel Directive Transposition Workshops, DG Justice, Brussels
February-JulyMedia Seminars - Stopping discrimination against Roma (series of national events)
18 March: Conference on the European Professional Card, Brussels

Sustainable Development & Environment

10 February: EIP Water Conference 2016, Leeuwarden (The Netherlands)
18 February: Urban Development Network Seminar, DG REGIO, Brussels
25-26 FebruaryPublic participation and transparency in the implementation of energy policies, JRC, Belgrade (Serbia)

Training and Info Days 

FebruaryE-learning course - CSOs and participation: lobbying, advocacy, policy influencing (online course offered by TACSO)
26 February: Info Day on the upcoming calls for proposals 2016 concerning agricultural products, CHAFEA, Brussels
3 March: Erasmus+ Sport Info day, EACEA, Brussels

Have Your Say on EU Policies!

Legislative proposals 

Proposal for a Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard 

Proposal for a Regulation on the reinforcement of checks against relevant databases at external borders 

Proposal for a Directive on combating terrorism

Ongoing Roadmaps & Inception Impact Assessments

Beyond the EU

Mid-term evaluation of the EIDHR

Enlargement package 2016

Mid-term evaluation of the European Neighbourhood Instrument

Mid-term evaluation of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance II

Digital Europe

eGovernment Action Plan

Legislative proposal to prevent unjustified geo-blocking 

Employment and Social Affairs

Mid-term evaluation of the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation

Ex-post evaluation of the Your first EURES job mobility scheme

Free movement and Security

Report on the evaluation of the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II)

Review of Directive 2009/50/EC on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment (“EU Blue Card” Directive)


Interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 Programme 


Draft 2015 Joint Report on the EU Youth Strategy

Evaluation of the EU Youth Strategy and the Council Recommendation on young volunteers

Mid-term Evaluation of Erasmus+

Public consultations

Review of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020
Deadline: 18 March 2016

Your First EURES job and options for future EU measures on youth intra-EU labour mobility
Deadline: 22 April 2016

Proposal to reform the procedure whereby Member States notify new regulatory requirements applicable to services providers
Deadline: 19 April 2016

Written Statement Directive
Deadline: 20 April 2016

More feedback opportunities to express your views on all EU policies at "Your Voice in Europe" 

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