Brenda King, MBE
Brenda King, MBE

Hopefully you watched the video of Brenda King’s opening remarks at the 1st Black European Women’s Congress last week in Vienna. Brenda emphasised that when she was invited to attend the Congress she made sure that she wrote her abstract personally.

Now I want to give you a look at her role in Brussels on the EU level. Brenda is the President of the Specialised Section “Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship” of the European Economic and Social Committee. She commutes to Brussels from the UK.

According to their website: The SOC Section covers a broad range of policy formulation including employment, working conditions, occupational health, social protection, social security, social inclusion, gender equality, combating discrimination, improving free movement, immigration/integration and asylum, education and training, citizens’ rights, and participatory democracy in the EU.

The SOC Section’s activities cover the work of several European Parliamentary committees and Commission Directorates-General, giving a comprehensive input to the social dimension of the Lisbon agenda.

Key themes recently highlighted in the SOC Section programme include job growth and quality employment, lifelong learning, training and productivity, occupational health and safety in the new Member States, healthcare for the elderly, women’s representation, people with disabilities, and EU ‘civic citizenship’.

Hearings on such themes are regularly held with experts and civil society organisations.

Brenda is the only black person in this section and leads a bureau comprised of representatives from Greece, Hungary, Poland, Malta, Austria, Spain, Czech Republic, Estonia, and France.

Here is what Brenda is up to today:

European Economic and Social Committee

Section’s 88th
2 October 2007

The draft agenda is as follows:

1. Adoption of the draft agenda

2. Approval of the minutes of the 87th meeting held on 17 July 2007 (CESE 1173/2007)

3. Statement by the President

4. SOC/275
Opinion on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics on public health and health and safety at work
COM(2007) 46 final ??? 2007/0020 (COD)
Rapporteur: Mr Retureau (CESE 1176/2007)

5. SOC/265
Opinion on Credit and social exclusion in an affluent society
(own-initiative opinion)
Rapporteur: Mr Pegado Liz (CESE 858/2007)

6. SOC/268
Opinion on EU immigration and cooperation policy with countries of origin to foster development
(own-initiative opinion)
Rapporteur: Mr Pariza Casta??os (CESE 1106/2007)

7. SOC/267
Opinion on Entrepreneurship mindsets and the Lisbon Agenda
(own-initiative opinion)
Rapporteur: Ms Sharma
Co-rapporteur: Mr Olsson (CESE 892/2007)

8. SOC/279
Opinion on Abuse of elderly people
(exploratory opinion)
Rapporteur: Ms Heinisch (CESE 1156/2007)

9. Organisation of section work

10. Any other business
– Discussion of own-initiative proposals

11. Confirmation of the date of the next section meeting: 14 November 2007.

In addition to her duties in Brussels, Brenda helps youth in London. I’ll tell you more about that important work in a future post.

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