19 Apr 2013 Ref: 34/2013 There is no single market without a single European airspace A single European airspace will not emerge without greater leadership from the European Commission and a better enforcement of EU legislation, said the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) during its April plenary session.
18 Apr 2013 Ref: 33/2013 A new Northern Irish face in Europe Former deputy speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Jane Morrice, has been elected vice-president of a Brussels-based organisation that advises EU lawmakers. Known as the European Economic and Social Committee, the EESC is made up of 344 members from the 27 EU member countries. A journalist who worked for BBC Belfast and European Report in Brussels, Jane Morrice will be responsible for communication during her two and a half year term.
18 Apr 2013 Ref: 32/2013 EESC vice-president Hajo Wilms: An end to the status quo – EU budgets must open new perspectives for the future Hans-Joachim Wilms has been appointed new vice-president of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), with particular responsibility for the budget. As president of the Budget Group secretariat, he will continue to push the message already expressed in a number of Committee opinions, namely that the ambitious challenges facing the EU make it vital to increase the size of its budget so as to revitalise economic growth and employment.
18 Apr 2013 Ref: 31/2013 New presidency for the EESC: Henri Malosse wants to put citizens at the heart of the public debate Henri Malosse is kicking off a 2½-year tenure as head of the EU institution representing civil society. With the public increasingly at a loss to understand decisions taken by the European Union, the new president is determined to make the EESC once again a force to be reckoned with in the European debate. This is a priority, he believes, given the crisis Europe is now facing.
16 Apr 2013 Ref: 30/2013 12th China-EU Round Table calls for stepped-up people-to-people contacts in EU-China relations The 12th Meeting of the China-EU Round Table took place on 11-12 April 2013 in Brussels. The agenda included sessions on intercultural relations, complementary indicators to GDP, urban development and trade and sustainable development.
The Participants underlined the importance of the EU-China People-to-People dialogue and the need to include the activities of the EU-China Civil Society Round Table in this dialogue. The rapporteurs for the session on intercultural dialogue, Ms Anne-Marie Sigmund (EESC) and Mr CUI Hongjian (Chinese Economic and Social Council - CESC), underlined the need to broaden the activities of theEU-China dialogue to cover adult education, journalists' training and intercultural training for small and medium-sized enterprises.
9 Apr 2013 Ref: 029/2013 European Citizens' Initiative marks one year anniversary The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) today convened key stakeholders to mark one year since the establishment of the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) – the world's first direct, digital and transnational tool of participatory democracy. Organised in partnership with the Committee of the Regions, the European Citizen Action Service, Democracy International, the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe and Euronews, the European Citizens' Initiative Day 2013 provided the platform to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the initiative and debate future improvements. Most initiatives’ organisers were on the spot and had the possibility to share their experiences and expressed their needs and concerns.
22 Mar 2013 Ref: 28/2013 EU advisory bodies vow to join forces in building a Europe "of the people and for the people" The success of the European project depends on effective participation of all local, regional and civil society players in policy design and implementation and efficient coordination at all levels of governance; this was the main recurring message in yesterday’s EESC plenary debates with the president of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso.
EESC president Staffan Nilsson invited Mr Valcárcel Siso, president of the Committee of the Regions, to attend the plenary session of the EESC in order to look at ways of developing political cooperation between the two Committees.
The opinion, which was handed to Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner in charge of energy at the EESC's plenary session yesterday, had been drawn up by Richard Adams (United Kingdom, Various Interests Group) at the request of the European Commission.
20 Mar 2013 Ref: 26/2013 The EESC calls for an end to food waste in the EU Food waste amounts to 89 million tonnes a year in the EU, while 79 million EU citizens live below the poverty line. In its opinion on Prevention and reduction of food waste, adopted on 20 March 2013, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls on the European Commission to take steps to counter this dramatic trend aggravated by the economic crisis.
20 Mar 2013 Ref: 25/2013 The outermost regions: Europe's forgotten asset In view of the special circumstances of the outermost regions (OR), the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) makes it possible to adopt specific measures when applying the treaties to such regions. However, in order for these measures to have any impact, a more ambitious strategy is called for than the one proposed by the European Commission. Special attention should focus on the agricultural aid programme, an increase in financial resources, foreign policy, and trans-European energy, transport and research networks: this is the only way to achieve the Europe 2020 objectives in the EU's eight outermost regions.