Civil society from the Euro-Mediterranean region reconvenes for annual summit to discuss women’s rights, freedom of the media and corruption

22-10-2012 — / — The 2012 edition of the Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions will be held in Amman, Jordan, on 17-19 October 2012. Civil society representatives from 15 countries around the Mediterranean and from the EU will give voice to their demands on issues such as freedom of expression, guarantees for basic human rights, especially for women, and consultation of civil society by policy makers.

Ahead of the summit, the European Economic and Social Committee’s President Staffan Nilsson stated: “I am quite concerned about events in the region. What concerns me is the failure of some governments to respect basic human rights and liberties; the deteriorating social and economic situation for women in particular; the policy of not respecting trade union rights, which has been preventing the installation of social dialogue in some countries. These are issues we need to address at the summit.”

The summit gathers the main civil society players active in the economic and social fields –such as trade unions, employers’ organisations, and professional associations – as well as a variety of NGOs, from the north and south of the Mediterranean, in the only annual forum that brings together all categories of civil society organisations.

Up to 200 civil society participants from across the region are expected to take part in the summit co-hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee and the Economic and Social Council of Jordan, with the support of the European Commission. The discussions will take the form of interactive panels on themes such as the ‘The role of civil society in policy making’, ‘Boosting social dialogue and training’, ‘Freedom of the media’, and ‘The role of civil society in fighting corruption”.

The civil society participants, who for the first time will include Libyan civil society representatives, will engage in exchanges on these key issues with experts from the region, the aim of the discussions being to produce recommendations for policy-makers in governments in the Euromed region and in the European Union.

The summit takes place in the context of deteriorating conditions for civil society organisations in many countries of the Euromed region, not to speak of the ongoing violence inSyria.

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Karin Füssl, Head of the Press Unit


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