On 17 September, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted its end-of-term ceremony during the last plenary session before its next term in October. Luca Jahier, EESC president since April 2018, expressed his gratitude to all of the members and highlighted the important contribution of the civil society organisations represented at the EESC to the European project.
In his last speech as president, Luca Jahier spoke about the main priorities of his term, namely sustainable development, a strengthened EU-Africa relationship, EU enlargement, and culture as a unifying element in Europe. He also highlighted the contribution made by the EESC in the last few years to tackling the challenges facing the EU: for example, the EESC had been the first European institution to propose a European Health Union. He expressed the hope that the EESC could take an active part in the Conference on the Future of Europe proposed by the European Commission and the European Parliament.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, sent a video message praising the "excellent work" done by the EESC in the last five years and its important contribution to the EU legislative procedure.
David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament, also sent a video message expressing his willingness to work more closely with the EESC to create a structured dialogue with organised civil society.
Klara Dobrev, vice-president of the European Parliament, took the floor at the EESC's plenary to highlight the fact that "nothing can change in the world if we don't have the support of the people; and the role of the EESC is to get in touch with organised civil society, with real people, all with different backgrounds and needs". (dgf)