For weeks, I have been seriously concerned about the news filtering on the preparation of the Extraordinary European Council, which is expected to discuss the Multi-Annual Financial Framework on 20 February. Today EP plenary debate in Strasbourg has fully confirmed my long-standing concerns.
Speeches & Statements
You will not be here with us, but I know you will be there with us, because there is no other alternative than a strong relationship between the EU and the UK and we at EESC we will do whatever it takes to keep that strong link and bond.
Statement by President Luca Jahier on the situation in the Middle East and Libya
The EESC considers that there is an urgent need for calm and peaceful solutions of all conflicts and sensitive situations worldwide and particularly in the region. We urge for a de-escalation of spiralling violence. The European Union must speak with one voice on all aspects of foreign policy given many crisis unfolding in the immediate EU neighbourhood, including the migration and refugee crisis, are interrelated.
The time for courage has come. This is the time to build up international partnerships that serve the Planet, the People and bring Peace and Prosperity.
Today, I can only praise the new #VDLcommission for delivering even before the end of its first 100 days what it has promised just a few months ago: the Green Deal. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the House of the European civil society, has sought for the past years to achieve a fully-fledged sustainable development in line with the UN 2030 Agenda.
When I look at the proposals brought forward initially by the Commission, and now, last week, by the Finnish presidency on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), I can only be disappointed and genuinely concerned. Disappointed because already the Commission proposal of May 2018 remained too prudent. Although the EU executive didn't have an easy task, as it had to deal with the announced departure of the UK and with a number of Member States opposed to go above 1% of the Gross National Income (GNI), it managed to craft a budget proposal which contains some timely, forward looking reform suggestions.
Today's vote in the European Parliament opens the way to a new era for Europe. I am convinced that new Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and her team of Executive Vice-Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Commissioners will usher a new momentum for our continent, after the good results of the European elections in May. Our citizens have given us five years to build the Europe of tomorrow and we should not waste this chance.
The business sector has the innovation, tools and expertise to make the shift to climate neutrality, happen. What it needs now is a political leadership and regulatory certainty. It is of key importance to send clear and timely signals to businesses, especially SMEs for them to be able to adapt their strategies while remaining competitive on the markets.
I am convinced that the EESC has a genuine added value to offer to facilitate the inclusion of civil society. The EESC could give a formal contribution to inter-institutional dialogue proposed by the European Commission as part of the 'Rule of Law Review Cycle'.