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Brussels, 20 September 2007

IGC 2007: organised civil society has its say on the future of Europe

With the aim of making the ongoing negotiations on the Reform Treaty more transparent and of promoting a pluralistic debate on the revitalisation of the process of European integration, the EESC is holding a debate, on 27 and 28 September 2007, on the 2007 intergovernmental conference (IGC), involving a wide range of civil society organisations from the Member States.

Although the mandate of the June European Council preserves much of the substance of the Constitutional Treaty, it is still as important as ever that organised civil society should watch that these negotiations within the IGC do not lead to other achievements of the Convention being undermined, in particular as regards strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the European Union and the rights of citizens.

The opening session will include keynote speeches from the EESC President, Dimitris Dimitriadis; the Minister of State for European Affairs of the Portuguese Republic, Manuel Lobo Antunes, on behalf of the EU Presidency; the Commission Vice-President, Margot Wallström; the President of the Committee of the Regions, Michel Delebarre; and Enrique Barón Crespo, one of the European Parliament's three representatives on the IGC.

The debates will be held in three parallel workshops, which will deal with the following issues:

  • Democratic legitimacy;
  • The participation of organised civil society and citizens' rights;
  • EU policies in the light of the Reform Treaty.

The conclusions of these workshops will be presented the following day at the closing session entitled Achievements and deficiencies of the Reform Treaty, next steps after the IGC and the future of the process of European integration, followed by a general debate. The EESC Vice-President, Jillian van Turnhout, who is in charge of the Committee's communication policy, will close the conference.

For more information, please refer to:



For more details, please contact:
Karel Govaert at the EESC Press Office,
99 rue Belliard, B-1040 Brussels
Tel.: +32 2 546 9396/9586; mobile: +32 475 75 32 02
Press Releases:
The European Economic and Social Committee represents the various economic and social components of organised civil society. It is an institutional consultative body established by the 1957 Treaty of Rome. Its consultative role enables its members, and hence the organisations they represent, to participate in the Community decision-making process. The Committee has 344 members, who are appointed by the Council of Ministers.

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