This is the last plenary I have the honour to address as President of the EESC. Two and a half years ago, in April 2018, I invited you to dream with me of a re-energised Europe and to work together for a second European Renaissance! I called for a strong civic engagement for our sustainable European future.
I can't believe how much Europe has changed over the past 30 months since I became EESC President. At that time, there was a strong fear in Europe of a dramatic nationalist-driven U-turn, and so I dared to dream of a sustainable Europe, and I called this dream rEUnaissance. The world is changing rapidly and we can dare to dream of a different Europe, a Europe that can give concrete answers to its citizens, its businesses, its workers. Europe has a future, but above all it has the face of young people and women.
I started in April 2018 thinking we needed to rediscover the humanistic spirit of the Renaissance to speed our journey on the path to a sustainable Europe. On the back of Brexit and ahead of the European elections, I knew civil society had a vital role to play to steer the European economy and society towards more sustainable and smart models.
At the end of my mandate, I can say Europe has once again shown its resilience.
On 17 September, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted its end-of-term ceremony during the last plenary session before the renewal of the institution in October. Luca Jahier, president of the EESC since April 2018, expressed his gratitude to all of the members and highlighted the important contribution of the civil society organisations represented at the EESC to the European project.
The European Economic and Social Committee welcomes the signature of the bilateral agreement between the EU and China to protect 100 European Geographical Indications (GIs) in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the EU. This is a first step towards a more fair and balanced relationship between the two global partners.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) sounds the alarm and calls for an urgent European housing action plan, stressing that an EU strategy is essential to ensure universal access to decent, sustainable and affordable housing in the future.
I am deeply shocked by the blaze that devastated the Moria refugee camp. I am relieved that no causalities happened, but the fire put at risk the lives of thousands of people: refugees, migrants and staff.
The very serious statement issued yesterday (8 September) by the UK government on its decision to renege on the Withdrawal agreement is unacceptable.
The EESC strongly defends the democratic right to vote, the right of free speech and the right of expression and has been following closely the developments after the presidential elections in Belarus.
As the voice of EU civil society, we strongly condemn the military and police repression of peaceful protesters. The multiple beating, use of tear gas, rubber bullets and sound grenades is completely shocking and in fact illegal.
EESC President Luca Jahier sends letters of condolence and solidarity to Lebanon, addressing HE Mr Fadi Hajali, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary - Head of Mission (EU), Mission of the Lebanese Republic to the European Union and Mr Charles Arbid, President of the Economic and Social Council of Lebanon.
After five days of tough negotiations, the EU has reached a deal to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an unprecedented decision for volume, content and key elements of innovation. Europe, today, is stronger than ever.
The new proposal presented last Friday by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, ahead of the European Council of 16-17 July contains highly critical issues, even though it maintains the initial volume grants/loans of the Recovery fund.
Today starts the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The European agenda could hardly have been more challenging: the adoption of the Recovery plan to repair the consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic, the crucial Brexit negotiations and the launch of the Conference on the future of Europe.
On 25 May, Mr George Floyd, a 46-year-old US citizen, died of asphyxia during his arrest by an officer of the Minneapolis Police Department. As the shocking images of this brutal arrest of an African-American citizen spread across the world, a growing wave of protests in the USA and beyond shook people's conscience.
The wind of change is blowing more wildly than ever. Entrenched taboos are falling away, and things that had been awaited for more than 20 years are happening within days and weeks. We must all not waste this historic moment.
European civil society organisations must be equal partners in the post-COVID recovery journey for a sustainable future. Civil society organisations have been at the forefront of the response to the global COVID-19 health crisis, supporting the most vulnerable and ensuring that people's basic needs are met in a challenging reality – even at the risk of the health of their own employees and volunteers. We have seen ...
Seventy years ago, a group of visionaries laid the foundations for the economic, social and moral reconstruction of the post-war period, giving birth to the greatest project for progress in the history of mankind.
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We have now more than ever the chance and the obligation to rise from the ashes of the #Coronacrisis like the Phoenix. Europe must not only be saved, it must be relaunched!
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