Πρόεδρος της ΕΟΚΕ
For a continent with nearly 1.3 billion inhabitants, Africa has so far been relatively spared by the COVID-19 pandemic, with roughly 6000 cases – mostly in South Africa and Algeria – and 200 deaths at the time of writing. The worst is, alas, still to come.
I have always considered myself a proud European, today more than ever. Nevertheless, the current mood between the heads of State and Government, coupled with the persistent viral divisions, presents a lethal risk – not only to the European Union, but also to our ability to bounce back from this unprecedented systemic and symmetric crisis.
In less than 15 days, the EU has taken ground-breaking decisions to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and after some initial hesitation it has proven that Member States can simply not do without a coherent, coordinated approach in front of a global pandemic.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has strongly supported the enlargement of the European Union to the six Western Balkans countries provided they fulfil all the necessary criteria for membership. In the aftermath of the Council's non-decision to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia in October 2019, we have reacted swiftly by adopting, on 31 October, a Resolution expressing our profound disappointment by the lack of unanimity from the Member States.
Today's ECOFIN decision did not seem to fully respond to the magnitude of the challenge that the EU is facing.
If today, we are afraid of falling ill, losing our loved ones, our jobs, and our individual freedoms, we should not lose sight of those who are living in refugee camps, in and outside Europe.
Following the EESC declaration "COVID-19: Now, we are either a Union or we are nothing", adopted by the Bureau on March 17, 2020, President Luca Jahier has urged today all institutions, authorities, regulators, both at European or national level, to take urgent and decisive actions to contain and fight against the pandemic and address the risks o
The COVID-19 outbreak has turned into a fast-moving emergency, figures and measures are constantly changing across Europe and the world, affecting all levels of society.
Covid-19 obliges everyone to show full responsibility and caution. It is a delicate moment for everyone. However, it is necessary to continue to ensure the proper functioning of all the institutions and the EESC will do its part, continuing to work also using other working methods, in order to fulfil its functions.
EESC President Luca Jahier has met today the newly appointed Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum Panagiotis Mitarachi, as part of the visit to Athens of the EESC's permanent study group on Immigration and Integration (IMI).
We must not shy away from our responsibility as Europeans and do the utmost to raise awareness for the situation of Cyprus, whether that concerns migration or the ongoing challenges faced by the two separate communities in their attempts to strive for reunification.
I can only welcome the constructive 10th AUC-EC Commission-to-Commission (C2C) meeting held at the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Addis Ababa on 27 February.
In a time of transformations, where traditional forms of political participation are being questioned and new forms are tested here and there, we should be wise enough to be open to change. However, such changes must not compromise the strength of traditional ways of participation, time-tested and continuously adapted, and the in-depth force of institutions.
This is not a battle of numbers, but a battle of visions. The vision of the new Commission "A union that Strives for more" and the new Strategic agenda that EU leaders set in Sibiu, reasserted during the European Councils of July and December 2019, must be fulfilled by coherent decisions with the new MFF.
I am deeply shocked by the attack that killed 11 people in a shooting in the German city of Hanau last night. This is yet another tragedy, whose xenophobic nature, if confirmed, is unacceptable in a fully democratic Europe.
It is with great emotion and compassion for the victims and their families that I express our sincerest condolences and our strong solidarity with the German authorities.
Both European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel have chosen to travel to Ethiopia for meetings with the African Union (AU) to speed up EU-AU cooperation on a multitude of policies, from climate to innovation, from cyberspace to security, and from migration to trade.
Ο Πρόεδρος της Ευρωπαϊκής Οικονομικής και Κοινωνικής Επιτροπής (ΕΟΚΕ), κ.
For weeks, I have been seriously concerned about the news filtering on the preparation of the Extraordinary European Council, which is expected to discuss the Multi-Annual Financial Framework on 20 February. Today EP plenary debate in Strasbourg has fully confirmed my long-standing concerns.
Following my inspirational mission to Ethiopia last June, I felt it was my duty to maintain high expectations after the start of the new Commission, which put EU's commitment to Africa at the top of its priorities.
You will not be here with us, but I know you will be there with us, because there is no other alternative than a strong relationship between the EU and the UK and we at EESC we will do whatever it takes to keep that strong link and bond.
A delegation of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), composed of President Luca Jahier, Jaroslaw Mulewicz (Chair of EESC ACP-EU Follow-up Committee) and member Maria Nikolopoulou, is visiting Senegal this week (13-16 January) to bring the
Statement by President Luca Jahier on the situation in the Middle East and Libya
The EESC considers that there is an urgent need for calm and peaceful solutions of all conflicts and sensitive situations worldwide and particularly in the region. We urge for a de-escalation of spiralling violence. The European Union must speak with one voice on all aspects of foreign policy given many crisis unfolding in the immediate EU neighbourhood, including the migration and refugee crisis, are interrelated.
Culture and the arts are key drivers for the future of Europe. I am therefore pleased to propose a short publication on culture and civil society, summarising the rEUnaissance – A cultural vision for Europe on Culture panel, which took place on 31 October 2019, during the EESC plenary session. Download the publication here.
We have a special guest today among the journalists who have accepted our invitation to be present in the last plenary session of 2019. His name is Andrew Caruana Galizia, son of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese journalist who was assassinated on 16 October 2017 because she was investigating and exposing cases of corruption at the highest levels of government.
The time for courage has come. This is the time to build up international partnerships that serve the Planet, the People and bring Peace and Prosperity.
ECI Day is an annual conference that has been organised by the EESC and its civil society partners since 2012, the year in which the first ECI Regulation 211/2011 was published. The 2020 (ninth) edition was marked by a major development, which was the entry into force of the new Regulation introducing substantial improvements and simplifications to the ECI procedure.
Quote of the day
We can no longer waste time to find a solution on migration. Saving the lives of those who flee from atrocious wars, hunger and disease, is a human, moral and legal duty.