I join Federica Mogherini in expressing the concerns of the members of the EESC about the new law passed in Russia which restricts freedom of association and movement.
This law comes in addition to a multitude of pressures that in recent years have affected to a great extend organisations that are working in the fields of the environment and human rights. In general, we are very concerned about the worldwide increase of measures that restrict freedom of association. In some countries this freedom is completely suppressed. We must remember that democracy is not a matter of geographical latitude or standards of living. Democracy is a fundamental human right that is unconditional.
Financial education is of paramount importance to increase financial literacy and financial education that is accessible to everyone will benefit society as a whole. Financial education should be seen as a comprehensive policy in which all stakeholders work together.
The president of the European Economic and Social Committee draws attention to the recent tragic events in the Mediterranean region, where once again hundreds of people have lost their lives while attempting to cross from North Africa into Europe.
Electromobility and the economical and environmental advantages. Policies and regulations for all levels of administration and political institutions will be presented at an event organised by Green eMotion on February 25, from 9:00 to 12:00 at the European Economic and Social Committee
On 18-19 February, the EESC is welcoming a delegation of Ukrainian civil society representatives who will assist the EESC plenary session and meet with Eastern Neighbours Follow-up Committee members to discuss the final steps in establishing the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform.
Join the EESC's 2015 Video Challenge: submit your entry by 6 March
The deadline for submitting entries for this year's Video Challenge has been extended to 6 March 2015. Europe in Harmony, organised in partnership with the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, is open to choirs, singing groups and amateur video-makers from all 28 EU Member States. Entrants are required to perform an interpretation of the "Ode to Joy", accompanied by a video clip, in any EU language.
On 10 February 2015, Luca Jahier, President of the Various Interests Group and other group members undertook a field visit to Ypres to mark the centenary of the First World War and especially the tragic incidents in Ypres.
Read President Jahier's speech here.
Luca Jahier's speech at Ypres
Welcome address by First Deputy Mayor Jef Verschoore
Presentation & Lecture by Mr Piet Chielens
In Flanders Fields
On 30 January 2015 Mr Klimek met on behalf of the Group with Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs to draw the Commission's attention to the importance of this particular type of companies.
This January 27th is the international Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz. On this occasion the European Economic and Social Committee, in cooperation with the European Parliament, CEJI-A Jewish contribution to an Inclusive Europe and EJCC-The European Jewish Community Centre, has organized an event entitled "Learning from the past, Learning for the Future". Among the participants, Martin Gray, 92 years old Holocaust survivor, and Simon Gronowski, 83 years old Holocaust survivor.
Speech of Rabbi Avi Tawill, EJCC President
Speech of H. Malosse, EESC President
Speech of Antonio Tajani, EP Vice-President
Speech of CoR President Michel Lebrun
Speech of Baron Alain Philippson, CEJI President
An ECO delegation meets Pier Carlo Padoan in the margins of the Eurogroup meeting
On 26 January 2015, the EESC's ECO section president Joost van Iersel, together with the section vice-president Carmelo Cedrone, visited the Italian delegation at the Council of the EU and met the finance minister of Italy Pier Carlo Padoan in the margins of the Eurogroup meeting. The two EESC members had a productive exchange of views with the minister and his senior advisers on the economic situation in Europe and the prospects for further integration in the euro area.
Mr van Iersel and Mr Cedrone presented the EESC own-initiative opinion on "Completing EMU" and the follow-up work that had been done since its adoption in July 2014, including the recent meetings with Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem and finance ministry officials from a number of euro area Member States. Mr Padoan and his advisers congratulated the EESC on that initiative and stressed that the Italian government supported the idea of further integration in the euro area which would bring back growth and trust in the European project. They further highlighted that part of the discussions at the Eurogroup had been dedicated precisely to the issue of supporting growth, for which the ECB's accommodative monetary policy stance had to be complemented by growth-enhancing structural reforms coordinated at European level.