This first meeting between the Argentinian Economic and Social Council (ESC) and the EESC, organised by the REX section, was led by Christa Schweng, EESC president, and Gustavo Beliz, president of the Argentinian ESC.
In his opening remarks, the president of the Argentinian ESC, Gustavo Beliz, summarised the newly established ESC's first one hundred days and said:
"In our council, we bring together people with very different views, including very different ideological views, very diverse life experiences and a wide range of social backgrounds. This diversity is the council's greatest asset. In these first one hundred days, we have shown great respect and have been very committed to our work. We would like to continue in the same vein with the EESC at our side, so we are very pleased to have this opportunity."
Christa Schweng, president of the EESC, congratulated Argentina for setting up an institution enabling civil society organisations to voice their opinions and put forward policy proposals. "We are delighted to know that Argentina has set up an economic and social council that will focus on key issues such as social inclusion, the environment and climate change, work, innovative democracy and food security. Argentina is a country with which we share a lot of values and interests, including understanding the importance of civil society participation."
More than 90 members from both parties, representing various sectors, attended the meeting and participated in a lively discussion covering a wide range of issues and strategies. The debate focused on the priorities for the post COVID-19 recovery, the EU's Green Deal, education and jobs of the future and on the impact of new technologies on the labour market.
Both organisations emphasised the importance of councils for building consensus, finding solutions to social problems and ways to deal with such problems firmly rooted in participatory democracy. (at)