In my capacity as President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), I extend my sincere congratulations to Mr. Joe Biden for his election as the 46th President of the United States of America, as well as to Ms. Kamala Harris as Vice-President.
Sitting in front of a screen is not exactly how we had pictured this inaugural session. You may be asking yourselves why, as the new president, I am also participating remotely. Believe me, it was not easy for me to decide not to travel to Brussels. The reason for my decision is simple: we can only ask our people, our members and staff to limit their social interactions and change their everyday behaviour to fight the COVID-19 pandemic if we ourselves set an example. That is why I have decided to adopt a "safety first" approach and to participate remotely, so that I do not put anybody at risk.
The EU-Turkey JCC met in Brussels on 8 September 2020 in a hybrid and multi-location set-up due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the meeting, the JCC members discussed the state of EU-Turkey relations and the role of civil society.
This is the last plenary I have the honour to address as President of the EESC. Two and a half years ago, in April 2018, I invited you to dream with me of a re-energised Europe and to work together for a second European Renaissance! I called for a strong civic engagement for our sustainable European future.
The European Economic and Social Committee welcomes the signature of the bilateral agreement between the EU and China to protect 100 European Geographical Indications (GIs) in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the EU. This is a first step towards a more fair and balanced relationship between the two global partners.
Requested by Politico to comment assertions made by Jacek Krawczyk in an interview published today (11 Septemer 2020), I sent the journalist the following statement: I do not intend to go into detail once again on matters that have been repeatedly raised and answered over the past 9 months.