Conference organised by the Various Intersts Group of the EESC in Thessaloniki, Greece on 31 May 2013
Programme Brochure launching event: "Financial Education and Financial Inclusion"
Financial education strategies and best practices within the European Union. This publication is based on an own-initiative opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on Financial education and responsible consumption of financial products adopted on 14 July 2011.
This study addresses questions concerning the state of the Civil Society and how Civil Society Organisations have been affected by the Financial Crisis. Through analysis of data gathered from various reports and other documentation, in-depth interviews with a number of individual representatives from different organisations and thought-leaders in the field, and results of a questionnaire survey, this study reveals a diversity of responses from the broad field of civil society in Europe.
For the EESC, the EU first and foremost requires the necessary political will and a precise vision of substantially closer and better European integration. What we need is a comprehensive approach to sustainable growth and employment, a European plan for growth – a "New Deal" if you will – that should be launched with more involvement of civil society organisations.
Crisis or not, we are now working in an open trading area, and in a globalised world. Europe will not build a sustainable society that is prosperous in the long term without the rest of the world. We need to share the same objectives even if we don't use the same tools.
As an open globalised economy we must TOGETHER identify and share good practices. It is in all our interests.
The role of entrepreneurs in channelling such investment for economic recovery is key to ensuring a competitive and dynamic economy. To make sure that this renewed economy is sustainable in the future, we must invest in education in entrepreneurship.
We must focus on untapped human capital. This mainly means young people, women, older workers, migrants and other vulnerable groups.
This conference comes very timely. We all can feel that European governments and citizens are waiting for the results of the elections in Greece. Only then European Member States will be able to meet again and to decide what solutions we can create together to boost European Growth.
European integration must move forward and be strengthened. We must concentrate on opportunities, growth and jobs, social justice and a sustainable Europe and European Union. And I hope the Irish Presidency will go in this direction when taking the helm of the EU.
EU leaders and members of the other EU institutions have on numerous occasions paid tribute to the EESC’s knowledge and experience and the added value they bring to our endeavours. The European Economic and Social Committee is there to advise and support the Irish EU presidency, based on the grassroots experience of its members and on its long-standing tradition of cooperation with EU presidencies.