Anniversaries are a time for celebration. For togetherness and joy. A moment to pause, to look back and take stock of achievements which will drive our future. We are here to dare the future of Europe.
The responses to the multiple crises that the European Union has been confronted with have increasingly led European citizens to become disenchanted not only with the European Union itself but also with democratic institutions in general – both at the European and national level. There is a serious risk of EU citizens no longer seeing the added value of the EU for their living and working conditions as well as for their future perspectives and those of their children and for losing a common sense of belonging.
The EESC, our 'House of European civil society', took part in this campaign, the aim of which is to bring together proposals from European citizens concerning the future of Europe. We can be proud of having inaugurated this new format – the citizens' consultation on Europe – based on our experience as the voice of civil society in Europe.
This new culture of dialogue should be developed for a number of key areas that also form the main priorities of my mandate, namely: sustainable development, culture, peace and youth.
In an inspiring speech, delivered on 18 April at the EESC plenary, which marked the end of the presidency of Georges Dassis and welcomed the new presidency of Mr Jahier, the new president set out the four priorities of his programme: sustainable development, promotion of peace, strengthening the role of culture and giving a voice to Europe’s young people.
Italy’s Luca Jahier has been elected as the 32nd president of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the EU body representing organised civil society, which he will head for the next two and a half years. The two new vice-presidents will be Milena Angelova (Bulgaria) for budget and Isabel Caño Aguilar (Spain) for communication. Read the inaugural speech.