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Civil society: a full partner in the Europe 2020 strategy Conference - Brussels, Belgium

Workshop 1 - page 1



Co-chairs: Michael Smyth, President of the Section for Economic and Monetary Union, Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) and Joost van Iersel, President of

the Europe 2020 Steering Committee


Venue: Room JDE 62 - Interpretation from: EN,ES,FR,DE,IT,SV into: EN,ES,DE,FR

More growth, leadership and political, financial and fiscal integration of the European Union are needed to successfully emerge from the crisis. At stake is not only the economic and social cohesion and political stability of Europe, but ultimately, the well-being of European citizens. This is the time to change economic policies, boost competitiveness and consolidate fairness, solidarity and cohesion.


This workshop will explore ways to put Europe back on a growth track, bearing in mind that, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy, the objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth are interlinked and mutually reinforcing. Issues to be discussed during this workshop include progress towards financial and fiscal union, the vicious circle of the banking crisis and sovereign debt, Eurobonds, the role of the EU budget and leveraging private capital through project bonds, the functioning of the European semester and economic governance in the Eurozone and the EU as a whole. 


This timely discussion will take into account the conclusions and the imminent roadmap after the European Council of June 2012, based on a vision for deeper integration in the economic and monetary area.

10.30 a.m. – 10.40 a.m.

Opening of the workshop


Michael Smyth,
President of the Section for Economic and Monetary Union, Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO)


Joost van Iersel,
President of the Europe 2020 Steering Committee

10.40 a.m. – 11.45 a.m.

Improving Economic Governance & Boosting Growth through Europe 2020: time for a more European effort


Moderator: Michael Smyth,
President of the ECO Section

10.40 a.m.

Challenges for debate


Carmelo Cedrone,
EESC member, Rapporteur for the EESC opinion on 'Restarting Growth'


Alain Delmas,
Member of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council of the Republic of France, Section for European and International Affairs

10.50 a.m.



Catherine Day,
Secretary-general, European Commission


Elisa Ferreira,
MEP, rapporteur for the reports on 'The prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances' and on 'Cross-border crisis management in the banking sector' (tbc)

Ieke van den Burg,
Chair of the Board of Directors of Finance Watch and Member of the Advisory Scientific Committee of the European Systemic Risk Board

11.20 a.m.

General debate


11.45 a.m. – 12.50 p.m.

Achieving the Europe 2020 objectives: leveraging

the EU budget for growth, jobs and cohesion


Joost van Iersel
President of the Europe 2020 Steering Committee

11.45 a.m.

Challenges for debate


David Croughan,
EESC member, Rapporteur for the EESC opinion on the 'Annual Growth Survey 2012'


  Jean-Paul Delcroix Secretary-General of the National Labour Council BelgiumJean‐Paul Delcroix,
Secretary‐General of the National Labour Council, Belgium

11.55 a.m.



Dominique de Crayencour,
Director of Institutional Affairs and Head of Brussels office of the European Investment Bank (EIB) 


Conny Reuter,
President of the Social Platform, co-founder of the Spring Alliance


Jorge Nuñez Ferrer,
Associate Research Fellow of CEPS and Rapporteur of the CEPS Task Force on ‘Aligning the EU Budget to the Europe 2020 Competitiveness and Growth Objectives

12.30 p.m.

General debate



12.50 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Conclusions from the workshop


Michael Smyth,
President of the ECO Section


Joost van Iersel,
President of the Europe 2020 Steering Committee


EESC opinions

Pick up some ideas from recent EESC opinions!


Taxation of the financial sector

  • The EESC considers that the financial sector should contribute to the fiscal consolidation efforts in a fair and substantial way and advocates appropriate regulation and supervision of the sector.
    (CESE 991/2011, rapporteur: Stasys Kropas, Employers' Group – Lithuania)

The EU budget review

  • The EESC advocates a strong European budget that complements national budgets in order to achieve economies of scale.
    (CESE 993/2011, rapporteurs: Henri Malosse, Employers' Group – France; Gérard Dantin, Workers’ Group – France)

Financial education and responsible consumption of financial products

Role of civil society in financial regulation

  • The EESC proposes that civil society organisations should be involved in the elaboration of financial regulation, by bringing in their unique knowledge.
    (CESE 472/2012, rapporteur: Peter Morgan, Employers' Group – United Kingdom)

GDP and beyond/complementary indicators

  • The EESC proposes the use of indicators complementary to GDP that take into account social and environmental variables in the evaluation of a society’s well-being.
    (CESE 814/2012, rapporteur: Stefano Palmieri, Workers’ Group – Italy)

Restarting growth

  • The EESC advocates the introduction of two complementary but distinct EU bonds: one (possibly not traded) to stabilise debt, and another (traded) to finance recovery and growth
    (CESE 474/2012, rapporteur: Carmelo Cedrone, Workers’ Group – Italy)

EU Budget 2014-2020

  • The EESC advocates a strong EU budget in order to stimulate economic growth and employment whilst securing at the same time efficiency, effectiveness and transparency to ensure credibility in the eyes of the European public.
    (CESE 1299/2012, rapporteurs: Stefano Palmieri, Workers’ Group – Italy;  co-rapporteur: Jacek Krawczyk, Employers' Group – Poland)

EU own resources system

Financial transaction tax

  • The EESC endorses the application of an EU financial transaction tax as an important means of stabilising financial markets while contributing to the EU’s own resources.
    (CESE 818/2012, rapporteur: Stefano Palmieri, Workers’ Group – Italy)

Insider dealing and market manipulation

Credit rating agencies

  • The EESC proposes greater involvement of existing monitoring bodies in the evaluation of ratings issued by credit rating agencies. Furthermore, the EESC pleads for strengthening of civil liability and greater protection of consumers of financial products.
    (CESE 820/2012, rapporteur: Viliam Páleník, Various Interests' Group – Slovakia)

Stability bonds

  • The EESC agrees that stability bonds are a logical part of an increasingly integrated European Union equipped with a single market and a European capital market.
    (CESE 1576/2012, rapporteur: Gérard Dantin, Workers’ Group – France)

Smart and Inclusive Growth

  • The EESC believes that, in order to achieve the triple objective of the Europe 2020 strategy – the smart, sustainable and inclusive growth - a well-balanced macroeconomic policy mix and structural reforms together with more and better instruments are needed.
    (CESE/1478, rapporteur: Etele Baráth, Various Interests' Group – Hungary)


2012 Annual Growth Survey

  • The EESC proposes that the EU invest in lasting solutions to the crisis, while striking a balance between fiscal consolidation and growth. In addition, the Committee calls for better involvement of organised civil society stakeholders in the European semester, at both EU and national levels.
    (CESE 497/2012, rapporteur: David Croughan, Employers' Group – Ireland)

Cost of non-Europe

  • The EESC believes that it is now essential to go much further than addressing the costs of non Europe solely from the angle of the single market.
    (CESE 1374/2012, rapporteurs: Georgios Dassis, Workers’ Group – Greece; co-rapporteur: Luca Jahier, Various Interests' Group –Italy; president of the Subcommittee on the Cost of non-Europe: Henri Malosse, Employers' Group – France)

Cohesion package:

Structural Funds – General Provisions
(CESE 1040/2012, rapporteur: Ioannis Vardakastanis, Various Interests Group – Greece)


Cohesion Fund
(CESE 1041/2012, rapporteur: Carmelo Cedrone, Workers’ Group – Italy)


European Regional Development Fund
(CESE 1042/2012, rapporteur: Etele Baráth, Various Interests' Group – Hungary)


Regulation on European Territorial Cooperation

(CESE 1043/2012, rapporteur: Viliam Páleník, Various Interests' Group – Slovakia)

European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation - Amendments

(CESE 1044/2012, rapporteur: Luis Miguel Pariza Castaños, Workers’ Group – Spain)

  • The EESC strongly believes that genuine partnership which involves all partners and stakeholders in the preparation, execution and ex-post evaluation of projects undertaken in the framework of EU cohesion policy contributes directly to their success. Greater use of conditionality in EU cohesion policy will achieve real, more focused, sustainable results. However, the EESC disagrees with macro-economic conditionality. Too much complexity remains in procedures in and around EU cohesion policy. The EESC encourages substantial coordination of efforts between the various Structural Funds in order to create a single and unified cohesion policy.


Scan here to go directly to these opinions:

Ideas for Europe 2020

Europe 2020 newsfeed by the European Commission



Read more on the Europe 2020 website.