The core mission of the EESC Sustainable Development Observatory (SDO) is to promote sustainability in the EU by advancing economic prosperity, social inclusiveness and environmental responsibility in an integrated and balanced way. Its members come from a wide range of interest groups, with expertise in all areas of our work and extensive outreach with civil society organisations across European Member States.
Finland assumes today, for the third time in its history, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. We all agree there is no other alternative than accelerate sustainability. The faster the transition, the better it will be for prosperity and democracy in Europe. I strongly welcome the clear message from President Antti Rinne “A key priority of Finland’s Presidency is the EU’s global leadership in climate action.”
As EESC President, I welcome the new strategic agenda for 2019-2024 adopted on Thursday by the European heads of state and government. There is no other alternative than to strengthen the role of the European Union in an increasing volatile and unsettled changing world. At the last European elections, citizens have given us five years to build the Europe of tomorrow. We cannot waste this new chance and deliver business-as-usual. Now it is the right time to show great European leadership to deliver a genuine #rEUnaissance and ensure a strong sustainable development vision for tomorrow's Europe.
Today's event, in the presence of the Italian president Sergio Mattarella and Minister for Foreign Affairs Enzo Moavero Milanesi, gives us, representatives of European civil society, a unique opportunity to clearly set out our vision of the European project.
Less than two weeks ago, the citizens of Europe expressed their democratic right and voted in the European elections. For the first time in the EU elections' history, the turnout was higher than in the previous round and higher than in any European election since 1994. Clearly, the legitimate concerns over climate change and environment were on top of the agenda of voters in many European countries and also in all the four main political forces.
In view of the informal Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the EU on the future of Europe in Sibiu (Romania), on 9 may 2019, the EESC, as the institutional representative of organised civil society, sets out its own vision of the future with Europe becoming the world leader on sustainable development. To this end, The Committee calls for a new strategy based on a global, cross-sectoral approach focusing on the needs of the citizens with the primary goal of sustainability.
Sustainable development with its economic, social and environmental dimensions is an inevitable approach to the future. Enterprises play a crucial role as generators of sustainable development. A favourable business environment is needed to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of sustainability. This document summarises the views of the Employers' Group on sustainable development.