Yesterday the EESC President, Georges Dassis, met Sandro Gozi, Italian Secretary of State of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers responsible for European policies, in the presence of Joost Van Iersel, President of the EESC's Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) and Carmelo Cerdone, Vice-President of the Section. The meeting focused on the process of the European integration and especially the completion of the EMU in the light of the recent Five Presidents' Report (http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/economic-monetary-union/docs/5-presidents-report_en.pdf) and the Commission's Deepening EMU Package (http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/economic-monetary-union).
President Dassis stated: "Given the difficult times that our Union's citizens are currently facing, Europe needs a new impetus. The completion of EMU is indispensable to recreate confidence in the European project. The time has come to take concrete steps." According to Mr Van Iersel, "linking economic decision-making to a political and institutional pillar of EMU is vital, in order to boost the economy, create jobs and strengthen the EU as a whole; the cost of non-Europe is simply too big in the current state of the Union". "It is vital to establish growth as the first priority of the Union and to address the limits of the EMU by creating a constitutional architecture at least for the euro area. This means that we must complete the economic pillar, the political pillar and the social pillar of the EMU", Carmelo Cedrone said. Mr. Van Iersel and Mr Cedrone are co-rapporteurs on the EESC opinions entitled "Completing EMU: The political pillar" and "Completing EMU - the next European legislature".
The Secretary of State shared the concerns expressed by the EESC and agreed with a number of proposals made in the Committee's opinions. In this regard, he referred to his recent article in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, which presents the Italian agenda for an EU reform (http://www.politicheeuropee.it/comunicazione/19465/lagenda-italiana-per-riformare-leuropa).
He also replied positively to an invitation to participate in the works of an upcoming Plenary Session of the EESC. This was Mr. Gozi's second official visit to the EESC, following his participation in the EESC's 500th Plenary Session on 10th July 2014, when he debated with the EESC Members on the priorities of the Italian presidency of the Council of the EU.