As EESC President, I welcome the new strategic agenda for 2019-2024 adopted on Thursday by the European heads of state and government. There is no other alternative than to strengthen the role of the European Union in an increasing volatile and unsettled changing world. At the last European elections, citizens have given us five years to build the Europe of tomorrow. We cannot waste this new chance and deliver business-as-usual. Now it is the right time to show great European leadership to deliver a genuine #rEUnaissance and ensure a strong sustainable development vision for tomorrow's Europe.
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Today's event, in the presence of the Italian president Sergio Mattarella and Minister for Foreign Affairs Enzo Moavero Milanesi, gives us, representatives of European civil society, a unique opportunity to clearly set out our vision of the European project.
Less than two weeks ago, the citizens of Europe expressed their democratic right and voted in the European elections. For the first time in the EU elections' history, the turnout was higher than in the previous round and higher than in any European election since 1994. Clearly, the legitimate concerns over climate change and environment were on top of the agenda of voters in many European countries and also in all the four main political forces.
In view of the informal Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the EU on the future of Europe in Sibiu (Romania), on 9 may 2019, the EESC, as the institutional representative of organised civil society, sets out its own vision of the future with Europe becoming the world leader on sustainable development. To this end, The Committee calls for a new strategy based on a global, cross-sectoral approach focusing on the needs of the citizens with the primary goal of sustainability.
Sustainable development with its economic, social and environmental dimensions is an inevitable approach to the future. Enterprises play a crucial role as generators of sustainable development. A favourable business environment is needed to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of sustainability. This document summarises the views of the Employers' Group on sustainable development.
The three "mobility packages" published by the European Commission (EC) under the far-reaching Europe on the Move initiative (2017 – 2018) have aimed at fundamental modernisation of European mobility, while focusing mainly on road transport. The European Economic and Social Committee´s opinions issued as a response to the EC´s initiative were presented in the first and second volumes of a recently published brochure entitled Europe on the Move.
Responding to substantial changes in the transport sector, between May 2017 and May 2018 the European Commission (EC) published three 'mobility packages' falling under the major political initiative Europe on the Move.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has carefully followed all these developments in order to give an exhaustive response from Civil Society to this far-reaching initiative.
Civil society intends to play its part in the run up to the European elections scheduled for 23-26 May. To mobilise members and civil society organisations at all levels, the European Economic and Social Committee organised an event titled Civil Society for rEUnaissance on 21 February 2019.
The creation and emergence of Industry4Europe in the European political arena shows the strong capacity we have when we need to deliver. You have done it well! I refer to your extremely concrete joint call to the candidates for the 2019 European elections. In it, you are rightly calling the future Parliament and the future European Commission to put industry at the top of the European political agenda. The manufacturing sector weighs for more than 20% of the European GDP and it is an essential driver of employment.
The project of accelerating the circular economy transition has been an excellent example of EU synergy in action. The ambitious circular economy initiatives adopted by the Commission, coupled with our Committee's access to a widespread civil society network, are paving the way toward a more sustainable European economy. We believe that the Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform is a powerful living bridge, linking the EU institutions with grassroots civil society organisations, promoting and sharing circular economy solutions for all citizens, for the well-being of present and future generations.