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17 October 2018 EESC calls for a greater involvement of civil society in EU external action

HR/VP Mogherini attended the EESC plenary session on 17 October, starting the meeting with a debate on the topic: “External threats and challenges facing the EU”. Mogherini emphasized that “policies need to be rooted in society” and declared that EU external action had already experienced a shift “from a pure security angle to a global one which puts the focus on societies instead of institutions”. For his part, the President of the EESC, Luca Jahier recalled the political instability of the south European neighbourhood “despite the EU’s efforts”. Nevertheless, he pointed out that “the EESC is well placed to witness positive aspects in this dark picture” adding that “the level of public support to ‘more EU’ is still high, and that civil society organisations are willing to be part of this effort”. This point of view echoed Mogherini’s statement that “foreign policy can never be only about governments; it requires NGOs, civil society, businesses and trade unions”.