The plenary session took place on Thursday 21st April 2005 and addressed the theme
"The Lisbon Strateby for growth and employement
a European vision of health and social cohesion?"
This meeting took place at a critical time in European politics, following the publication of the European Commission's proposals for the mid-term review of the Lisbon strategy and the spring summit of the European Council on 22-23 March, which decided on the future orientations of the Lisbon Strategy for economic growth and employment. The future of health and social services, the modernisation of social protection systems and the visibility of social cohesion policy were key elements of this debate.
It was therefore an opportunity for the regions to contribute to the revised Lisbon strategy, and in particular to discuss its implications for social cohesion, health and social services. The European Parliament's opinion on the proposed Directive for services in the internal market was presented and the regions were again faced with the question of how best to organise and provide these services for their citizens, in light of the ever-increasing mobility of people and professionals.
Member regions were presenting the progress achieved in their cooperation projects, such as preventing domestic violence, youth policy across Europe, and responding to the challenges posed by an ageing population.
On Friday 22nd April 2005 a Seminar on the Prevention of Alcohol andDrugs Abuse took place. It was an opportunity for regional politiciansand officials, experts in the field and representatives of nationalgovernments and European institutions to debate how best to formulate apolitical approach to the serious threats posed by alcohol and drugsrelated harm. Regions also had the opportunity to present theirexamples of best practice and to formulate a joint strategy on theprevention of alcohol and drugs.
On the occasion of this seminar a new working group has been launched to formulate an action plan for the prevention ofalcohol related harm, to be chaired by the region of Jönköping (S).