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

Archive: December 2011

What are we afraid of losing by saving Europe?

14 Dec 2011

By: Staffan Nilsson

After the last European Council of 8 and 9 December, the heads of state or government went home to talk to their parliaments. David Cameron told the British House of Commons that he had gone to Brussels with only one intention i.e. "to defend our own interests." But where, I wonder, were our common interests? Where was the European interest, where were the European objectives, the drive to find solutions to overcome the crisis together? The Swedish prime minister will also take the matter to the Swedish parliament, but he was at a loss to know how to proceed. Last week's Council talks and decisions and the national debates that followed have revealed a number of fears that appear to be underpinning the approach of certain Member States to EU governance. What are we actually afraid of losing by saving Europe...? Read More...

Robin Hood and EU cohesion policy

1 Dec 2011

By: Staffan Nilsson

Last week I took part in an EU Polish Presidency event in Poznan on the strategic choices to make for future EU cohesion policy. It was organised in the margins of the informal meeting of EU Member States' cohesion ministers. I have not heard any Member State asking for less money for the next 2014-2020 cohesion budget. Nor has anyone dared to say anything about the very serious crisis we are currently facing. Why? Because, in my view, even those governments who criticised the large amounts of EU money allocated to cohesion policies have now come to realise that there is no division between economic and social Europe, but rather an interdependence which makes Europe stronger. Read More...