The EU had the opportunity, and a strong self-interest, to lock in long-term positive momentum across the Western Balkans by starting negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, but EU leaders failed to agree today at the European Summit.
Πρόεδρος της ΕΟΚΕ
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the EU body representing European civil society, firmly condemns Turkey's military operation in North-East Syria. As representatives of civil society, we are deeply concerned about the humanitarian costs of this intervention and urge the Turkish government to stop all military action immediately.
Today, the EU reaffirms its firm commitment to the respect for fundamental rights - human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.
Following the proposal on the Irish backstop made by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently transmitted to Jean Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the EESC President Luca Jahier and the Chair of the Brexit Follow-up Group Stefano Mallia have issued a joint declaration.
Just back from Hungary, it is hard not to view the historic series of events, which led to the fall of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall through the lens of the present. Hungary has played an outstanding and courageous role in the dismantling of borders and barriers on our continent, allowing Europe to grow together, to further the European project of unity, peace and prosperity.
I want to congratulate the elected President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, for having built a strong College in such a short time. Mrs von der Leyen stood by her commitments to finalise a gender-balanced list of proposed Commissioners with strong credentials. ...
Congratulations to Ms von der Leyen! Europe is a woman indeed! The courage and boldness of your actions will set the pace of what you called an EU that strives for more. There is no other way than the one to dream and provide a Sustainable Europe for future generations.
We can no longer waste any of our time. We want a responsible and supportive Europe, respectful of human rights. We want a Europe that knows how to welcome diversity in an organised way and make it a truly enriching experiencing. Because on the banknotes we handle every day there are no walls but bridges, no closed ports but open doors and windows, symbolising the European spirit of openness and cooperation.
We have just signed a joint statement that puts in black and white our areas of agreement and clear recommendations on some very crucial topics for the future of our societies.
With today's joint statement, we send a powerful signal and a concrete messages to the political authorities on both sides: after all, if actors as diverse and varied as we are, from both Chinese and European civil society, manage to speak with one voice, then our politicians have to take note.