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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

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

Archive: March 2011

EU’s value for money

28 Mar 2011

By: Staffan Nilsson

At the Spring Council, Member States took a useful step forward in the building of Europe. By formally recognising in their conclusions the role of all the players in the new reform framework – the European Semester, the EU Member States have extended the circle of contributors to Europe 2020. "In implementing these policies, and in order to ensure wide ownership, close cooperation will be maintained with the European Parliament and other EU institutions and advisory bodies (ESC, CoR), with the full involvement of national parliaments, social partners, regions and other stakeholders." (From The conclusions of the European Council 24/25 March 2011, point I.6.) Admittedly, civil society's contribution to decision-making and reforms is already recognised in the regular work programme with the European institutions. The Council formally acknowledges that without grassroots players taking ownership of reforms - without the people who build the daily reality of Europe: employers, employees and other various interests’ groups - political decision-makers run the risk of making serious mistakes. Such recognition was long overdue, and I welcome it! Read More...

Compromise for a smart Europe

17 Mar 2011

By: Staffan Nilsson

The European Commission has set its target for 2020: an intelligent and sustainable Europe. It has also created a clear and coherent framework – the Europe 2020 strategy, which has exerted enormous political leverage. It is up to each and every one of us, citizens, civil society actors, regions, governments and politicians to act on it now and make it a reality. Starting with the single market, which the EESC has studied and for which it has submitted a list of priorities to the Commission. Civil society is working on making Europe 2020 a reality. The EESC is bringing its guarantee of balanced expertise to the social and economic aspects of 2020, based on compromise. Isn't that what we need right now for smart policies? Read More...
Now that the Roadmap for a low-carbon economy by 2050 has been launched by the European Commission, the EU needs to take tangible, innovative steps to switch to a greener low-carbon economy. That is easier said than done. Read More...

Are we on the Arab democratic wave?

1 Mar 2011

By: Staffan Nilsson

What we are witnessing in Libya is a dictator who has clung to power for more than 40 years now organising military forces to attack his own people. We should have reacted to this uprising and bloodshed before now, instead of collaborating with such a mad man. Europe could have monitored human rights more closely and we should have spoken with one voice. Clearly! We have not enough supported development of democracy and human rights so far! Read More...