For the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the European Union's second assembly, the Greek presidency gives Europe a unique opportunity: coming just a few months before the European elections, it could have a major impact by helping to give the public a more concrete idea of what Europe is about. Today, at the Greek parliament, the EESC underlined the lessons Greece has learned from the way the crisis has been handled, most importantly, how crucial it is not to ignore the voice of the European population.
Speaking before the Greek parliament, the EESC president, Henri Malosse, the Greek president of the EESC's Workers’ Group, Georges Dassis, the president of its Various Interests Group, Luca Jahier and the vice-president of its Employers’ Group, Anna Bredima, expressed their conviction that Europe needs to place its focus on people, noting that the public was disappointed by the EU's inability to protect them from the crisis.
"We call for immediate actions to boost growth and jobs, such as doubling the Youth Guarantee or supporting apprenticeship. In the medium term, we propose a convergence of social and fiscal policies on the EU with re-industrialisation as a target", said Henri Malosse at the Greek parliament.
The EESC also stressed the importance of finding concrete solutions to the problem of youth unemployment. The Committee has put forward a series of proposals in this area aimed at achieving better results, including a call for emphasis to be put on developing apprenticeships and reinforcing the Youth Guarantee scheme, to ensure that political pronouncements are more than just idle words.
The EESC stated its intention to be an active partner and work alongside the Greek presidency of the EU in the ongoing effort to find viable solutions that meet the expectations of the European public.