EESC President visit to The Hague, in the Dutch presidency framework

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Georges Dassis met with Ms Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment, and discussed the priorities of EESC for the Dutch Presidency. During their meeting the EESC president underlined the proposals that the European Economic and Social Committee has made on combating poverty and the "European minimum income" opinion that the EESC has sent to European Commission as a proposal to reduce the financial crisis' impact.


Furthermore, he informed her that during the next Plenary Session an opinion on combating poverty will be discussed, as well. On her side, Ms Klijnsma declared her satisfaction for her participation in the EESC Plenary Session next week on February 18th where she will present the Dutch priorities during the presidency. Moreover, she asked the EESC's contribution on the final conclusions that the Dutch presidency will draw, once the presidency ends.


During another meeting with Ms Brigitte van der Burg, Chair of the Dutch Parliament's Committee on Social Affairs and Employment, the EESC President discussed the fact that in such difficult time within the financial crisis, the European Union should protect the people that are affected the most and that the EU should precisely pay attention to the social security of the underprivileged.


Ms van der Burg mentioned that new measures should be implemented in order to combat the unemployment, especially in youth. She spoke about the importance of innovation in tackling the impact that the robotisation has in the job market, while Georges Dassis mentioned that new investments are vital for the creation of new jobs.


In his final meeting Georges Dassis met with Ms Mariëtte Hamer, President of the Dutch Social and Economic Council (SER). The two presidents discussed their priorities during the Dutch presidency. Ms Hammer presented the most important priorities of the Dutch SEC: the growth and the sustainable development goals, the access to the labor market and the distribution of a more balanced income. She also pointed out that the refugee crisis is a very important issue for Europe and should be distinguished from immigration.


The EESC President, then, informed Ms Hammer about the 12 missions in the framework of the Going Local activity that the EESC has launched, which aims to gain an insight into the work carried out by civil society organisations dealing with migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Finally, he defended the Schengen Agreement and informed the SEC President about the campaign that EESC has launched, in order to protect it.