On 9 February, EESC President Staffan Nilsson met with the president of the European Movement International (EMI), MEP Jo Leinen, and talked about ways to deepen the cooperation between the EESC and the EMI. Mr. Leinen stressed the special value of EMI as an organisation which involves more than EU Member States, being represented in about 41 European countries. EMI is currently focusing its activities on citizens' participation, the current institutional challenges the EU is facing and on the Western Balkans, the Southern and Eastern neighbourhood of the EU.
Referring to the latest developments at European level, Mr Leinen calls for more Europe to complement the monetary union. He informed President Nilsson about a petition asking the European Parliament to use its new Lisbon treaty powers to initiate a further revision of the European Union treaties with the objective of creating a full fiscal union with a reformed financial system. This petition initiated by EMI with other European partners and calls for a new Convention which requires engaging into more democratic and transparent discussions on the future of the EU.
EMI president expressed his appreciation of the EESC major conference "European civil society on the Road to Rio+20" where he made a presentation on how to set the stage for a global green economy.
During the meeting, president Nilsson expressed his view that the EESC is one voice in the big choir of civil society, but its privileged position amongst the European institutions allows civil society organisations to use the Committee in order to channel a common vision for a strong civil society involvement in the Rio+20 process. The Committee's work will continue up to the Rio+20 summit, building bridges also with the non-European civil society organizations.