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EESC President Henri Malosse

President's blog European Elections 22-25 May 2014 - Act. React. Impact.


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Economic crisis

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  • 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...
  • 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...
  • On the margins of a conference organised by the European Economic and Social Committee on 7 June, the President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Staffan Nilsson, stresses the need for a Fiscal Stability Union in Europe, backed by Eurobonds, in order to overcome the crisis and ensure investment for the future development of the European Union. Read More...
  • Europe, business and bikes

    23 Apr 2012

    By: Staffan Nilsson

    We all worry about the millions of young skilled people in Europe, ready to enter the labour market, looking for a job. And they often begin their working life, if at all, in precarious, low-paid part-time employment. From the beginning of my term of office, I have consistently said: yes, Europe is affected by a very serious financial, budgetary, social and political crisis. And, no, I don't think the "crisis" should become some kind of mantra or a structural statement of fact. I want us to focus our attention on solutions; there are solutions! Even on a bike… Read More...
  • Let’s all win! Europe at work

    24 Jan 2012

    By: Staffan Nilsson

    We hosted Nicolai Wammen representing the new Danish Presidency in our plenary session last week, just after Martin Schulz was elected as the new president of the European Parliament. Together they give quite a complementary picture and programme for the EU: we need to keep alive a political vision of a European Union which is democratic, modern and a source of human progress; and we need to nourish it in the short term with a bold, responsible and pragmatic policy programme. We cannot let the crisis take our citizens’ dreams and aspirations away from them. We look ahead and aim to make our children’s lives better than ours in a future Europe, just like our parents wanted, and managed, to do. Read More...
  • 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...
  • When Greek leaders got direct democracy wrong

    2 Nov 2011

    By: Staffan Nilsson

    Greece will hold a referendum on the bailout package. It may seem as the best way to do in a democracy, but it shows poor leadership and may only be to reinforce political legitimacy of a prime minister and his government. The proposed referendum goes actually against true democracy because public opinion is under threat of losing welfare benefits. Fear is not a good advisor and direct democracy would only empower fearful people who now need now a self-controlled and firm leader to drive them. Read More...
  • Europe - more and less?

    25 Oct 2011

    By: Staffan Nilsson

    On the margins of the European summit on Sunday 23 October, David Cameron declared that it was in United Kingdom's interest that the eurozone countries sort out their problems, but that it would become dangerous if they started to take decisions on issues, such as financial services, that were vital to other Single Market countries and the Single Market as a whole. What shocks me is the incredible inconsistency of these leading players, who appear to be either unaware of or unwilling to recognise the huge contradiction in what they are saying. They want more Europe - with further development and strengthening of the internal market, business exchanges and non-eurozone countries being involved in decisions concerning the eurozone - and, at the same time, less Europe - with cuts in the budget, when what we need to overcome the crisis is a stronger cohesion policy, more funds to boost Europe's competitiveness and a referral to enter the euro zone. Read More...
  • What political resolve can do for Europe

    22 Jul 2011

    By: Staffan Nilsson

    The decisions taken on 21 July for rescuing Greece and other Eurozone countries are not bad news and they are not good news either. What was absolutely needed has been done, at a time of high risk for Greece and for the Eurozone. It is not bad news because the Greek state will benefit from lower interest rates thanks to the help of other Member States. As a consequence, this will reduce the weight of the burden on the Greek people's shoulders. This is solidarity at work for a safer Eurozone. It is not good news because the Greeks will have to make huge efforts to reduce the debt. I believe in their resilience to do so. Still, we need to be aware that the Greek people will suffer more than others. The poor and the most vulnerable, and young people, could be the ones to pay the price. Read More...


  • 20 Mar 2014 Final Conclusions

    Main conclusions and outcome of the debates at the conference

Results 1 to 10 out of 160.