You are here
The subject of Culture is close to my heart– it is one of the four priorities of my presidency alongside peace, sustainable development and youth. These are the pillars of the new European Renaissance we must urgently strive for.
Culture is not only a driver of economic growth and social cohesion, it has been one of the drivers of European identity for many centuries.
The EESC is hosting today its first high-level conference to discuss the proposal for the next “Multiannual Financial Framework” (MFF), covering the period 2021-2027, on the basis of the European Commission's proposal of 2 May. We are only at the beginning of a process, with the ball now being with the Council and the European Parliament that will, hopefully, in early 2019, adopt an MFF that will allow the EU to move forward. The EESC will thoroughly analyse the Commission´s proposals and will draw up an opinion on this important package by September.
The European Union and the Western Balkans have a shared interest in working more strongly together to guarantee all our citizens economic and social development, as well as security. The future of the region is a European future. The EU and the Western Balkans economies have benefited from closer integration as trade doubled in the last 10 years. The EU is today the first trading partner of the region, the biggest investor and the most credible and dependent political and geostrategic partner.
Déclaration de Luca Jahier, président du Comité économique et social européen, à l’occasion du 9 mai, journée de l’Europe
It is clear that our Union, this unique model of democratic exchange, collaboration and compromise, allowing for the longest period of peace in the history of Europe, is facing numerous challenges. We must get to work now, before it is too late. Our democratic system, our Europe is worth the fight. It may be challenging, sometimes frustrating - as we human beings are - but I am convinced that it is the best that we can imagine.
I welcome today's proposal on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework and the Commission's significant effort to come up with an EU budget fit for the future. The proposal contains many constructive elements for a Europe that protects, empowers and defends, yet, on one crucial point, I would have preferred a more daring and ambitious plan. I remain convinced that the current ceiling for EU expenditure has to be increased to 1.3% of GNI to face the growing EU agenda.
Europe is still troubled by high levels of unemployment, affecting in particular young people. The risk of social exclusion and poverty has never been so high and the problem of the working poor undermines social progress. When you add the unresolved migration crisis and the low levels of trust in democratic institutions, citizens might feel lost and fear for the worst.
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.
Our democratic institutions today, our European political system of representative democracies are currently facing a crisis of legitimacy. Many citizens lack a sense of ownership and involvement.One manner of addressing is to promote participation, not just consultation, which is a top down exercise. Involvement in local debates builds trust, generates an understanding of the complexity of democratic processes and empowers citizens.
Discours et déclarations