On 1 July 2013, Croatia will become the 28th Member State of the European Union. The country's accession comes 10 years after it first applied for EU membership in 2003.
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“Contrary to the populist ideas being voiced in certain political quarters in numerous EU countries, current economic problems are not related to excesses by eurocrats in Brussels, but to the fact that European integration is fundamentally incomplete.” Georgios Dassis, rapporteur, avis du CESE «Pour une analyse actualisée du coût de la non-Europe»
«In the Euro-Mediterranean region, 2012 and beyond will be about dealing with realities on the ground and turning the political will for transition into positive results for the people. We need to help them with measures that are directly relevant to the challenges they are facing. This has led the EESC to explore new avenues to ensure that local civil society can make its voice heard and respected in decision-making at national level and in the countries’ relations with the EU.»
Dimitris Dimitriadis, president of the EESC Euromed Follow-Up Committee
Cohesion policy is at the heart of Europe. It brings Europe closer together through investments that enhance growth, create jobs, and promote solidarity and cooperation in lesser developed regions.
“Integration is a reality which migrants live at the workplace, at school, at the bus stop or the sports club. Because it is part of everyday life, civil society – which the EESC represents – has a vital role to play in promoting integration. This has been clearly recognised both by European institutions and civil society organisations which concretely consider the Committee as a bridge between the two of them.”
Luis Miguel Pariza Castaños, President of the Immigration and Integration (IMI) Standing Group
”Let’s not talk about the formal retirement age. What is important is the value we attach to the time we spend at work. In a truly inclusive labour market with high quality work, people will want to – and will be able to – stay active longer. Satisfied people are more productive and this should be fully recognised as a key factor for growth.”
Leila Kurki, President of the EESC’s Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship Section
”The European Economic and Social Committee’s adoption of three related opinions at the same time – on Rio+20, resource efficiency, and a low-carbon economy – highlights the unique, cross-cutting role
of sustainable development as a policy area. It is not merely about environmental issues. It aims at making the best possible use of our limited global resources by coordinating environmental, economic and social policies.”
Mario Campli, President of the EESC’s Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Section
The European Economic and Social Committee has thrown its weight behind the European Union’s efforts to help young people find their way into work. Youth unemployment is a tragic waste of potential, which not only undermines economic growth but could also have serious consequences for social cohesion in the future.
“Finding the right answers to our well-known energy challenges will be key in securing Europe’s prosperity and competitiveness. The increase of the share of renewables is vital, but just like all other sources in the energy mix they have to be regularly assessed on their contribution to sustainability and cost-effectiveness.”
Stéphane Buffetaut, President of the EESC’s Transport and Energy Section