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Staffan Nilsson at a press conference at the European Parliament on the citizen's agora eventEESC President about the cooperation with the European Parliament at the "Citizen's Agora" event

Staffan Nilsson at the European Parliament



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Staffan Nilsson's Comment (former EESC President 2010-2013) - page 1

Results 1 to 10 out of 60.

Citizens' initiative- have you signed up to it?

12 Apr 2013

By: Staffan Nilsson

For the past year Europeans have been able to exercise a new EU right: the right to propose legislation on matters where the EU has competence to legislate, on condition that the initiative is backed by at least one million citizens from seven EU Member States. The challenges and the struggles which initiators face (the online signature collection system, data protection, language barriers and different national verification requirements) are symptomatic of the state of European integration. Some may disagree, but I think more integration makes for a more democratic EU. The further the EU moves towards integration, the easier it will be to get such transnational initiatives off the ground. The European citizens' initiative (ECI) is an ideal adjunct to – and indeed a consolidation of – the EU's system of representative governance. So have you signed up to any yet? Take a look at the list of all citizens' initiatives registered here. Read More...

As European as we can get!

1 Mar 2013

By: Staffan Nilsson

On 6 March – Civil Society Day – the EESC is playing host to committed civil society players from all over Europe. The overarching question is: what can we do to bring the economy, solidarity and democracy together? This year our focus is on people's EU rights, how well they are enforced on the ground, and the part they play in the democratic life of local communities and the European Union. We have used a Flash Eurobarometer to measure people's level of commitment and we are eager to debate the key findings on Civil Society Day. Read More...
During our plenary session last week, European Commission President Barroso, discussing reforms in Europe with our members, clearly stated that we were not yet out of the crisis; that we were not there yet. Unfortunately, he is right. One more piece of evidence for us is the dramatic and ongoing fall in citizen engagement in civic and social actions as a result of the crisis. However, a study we commissioned recently on "The impact of the crisis on civil society organisations in the EU" shows that there is a positive side to the constraints we are experiencing and that we can turn the page from crisis to potential. This study reveals where the potential might lie for civil society and citizen engagement. Read More...

Responsible EU, responsible EU citizens

25 Jan 2013

By: Staffan Nilsson

Citizenship has assumed a pivotal position in the development of the European venture: it is an integral part of our democracy and highlights the fact that the European Union works when we enjoy rights and accept that we have obligations to one another and to future generations. This is one of the reasons why we need to mainstream sustainability when we explore and define the meaning of citizenship. With this goal in mind, this week we have launched an educational tool which can be used by our members and anyone willing to speak about the implications of responsible citizenship. The “Being a responsible EU citizen” toolkit includes elements about the green economy, responsible enterprises, inclusive governance and responsible habits – to mention just a few. Naturally, there is much more to citizenship than what is set out in this toolkit, and this is just one contribution. Read More...

The European Union – a project of peace

10 Dec 2012

By: Staffan Nilsson

Some have questioned why the EU has been awarded the Peace Prize just now, when people all over Europe are protesting against what they see as the EU's strict austerity requirements. In fact, it is at times like this that it is especially important for the EU and the leaders of the Member States to remind people how much potential this project has in guaranteeing social cohesion. Read More...
Over the next few days, the future of the European project will again be subjected to stress tests. This time the tests will be the EU budget and the multi-annual financial framework which determines the EU's expenditure ceiling for the 2014-2020 period. The Member States will have to strike a compromise both on the budget and on how the money will be spent! We need a reasonable budget and reasonable savings; however the budget negotiations should not become a pretext for weaker cooperation among the EU Member States! Read More...

As the Rio+20 outcome was not as ambitious as we Europeans would have wished, we want to keep up the momentum and motivate all EU actors and governments to take forward and practice sustainable development measures (economic, social and environmental) in Europe. This is all part of getting Europe out of the crisis. I recently called on all the EU institutions to work together on the Rio+20 follow-up. It is also fully compatible with the EU 2020 strategy for economic and social recovery and sustainable growth. Let me briefly explain how.


Why Europe makes economic and social sense

28 Sep 2012

By: Staffan Nilsson

Europe is a broad, diverse continent, yet one that is united in peace. It is a huge market, and it has a single currency. It is blessed with different cultures and different languages. Sometimes, to understand the hallmarks of European unity, we need to take a bird's eye view. While most experts and European leaders are trying to get that bird's eye overview of the European landscape, other, more political groupings are playing on people's fears in these times of crisis. People are confused – hence the protests. They are now having to struggle for things to which, not so long ago, they were entitled: a sustainable job, a decent living, a better future for their children, hope and trust in the future. There is a real need to explain that the EU's current reforms are meant to restore this climate of well-being and there is an urgent need to win back people's confidence. Read More...

Rio+20 – what worked well (I)

3 Jul 2012

By: Staffan Nilsson

Last month was marked by the Rio+20 global summit on sustainable development. At the EESC we were committed to contributing to the EU’s position and to mobilising EU civil society in order to push EU and world leaders towards an ambitious Rio+20 outcome. An agreement has been reached and this is an achievement. It’s better than nothing! However I can’t help seeing the huge discrepancy between the aspirations, ambitions and commitments which were visible in the myriad Rio+20-related events and statements from civil society, communities and companies, and the actual wording of the outcome document which the heads of states and governments agreed on. Read More...

Finishing the puzzle

15 Jun 2012

By: Staffan Nilsson

Following an in-depth debate, political group leaders and the President of the European Parliament decided this week in Strasbourg that the European Parliament would suspend its cooperation with the Council on five files unless a satisfactory outcome is achieved on Schengen governance. Read More...

Results 1 to 10 out of 60.