Dear President, Dear Mr Michel, I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as the President of the European Council. This is an essential position in the European institutional system for which, I am convinced, you will demonstrate the fullness of your talent, animated by your unwavering European spirit.
Finland assumes today, for the third time in its history, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. We all agree there is no other alternative than accelerate sustainability. The faster the transition, the better it will be for prosperity and democracy in Europe. I strongly welcome the clear message from President Antti Rinne “A key priority of Finland’s Presidency is the EU’s global leadership in climate action.”
The President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Luca Jahier will visit Belfast and Bangor on 25-26 June to discuss the future of Northern Ireland beyond Brexit. Mr Jahier is the only President of an EU institution to visit Northern Ireland since the 2016 referendum on UK withdrawal from the EU.
The European Economic and Social Committee welcomes the decision taken on 21 June 2019, at the centenary International Labour Conference, to adopt two new instruments - a convention and a recommendation - to combat violence and harassment at work.
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.
Millions are fleeing war or persecution worldwide. As we commemorate their strength and courage on World Refugee Day, we can hardly stay quiet as we see the number increase every year, reaching in 2018 the record of 70.8 million displaced people – 11 million higher than the total population of Italy - 29.4 million are refugees or asylum seekers.
On 13 and 14 June 2019, the EESC, together with the Consiglio Nazionale dell'Economia e del Lavoro (CNEL) organised the yearly “Annual meeting of the Presidents and Secretaries-General of the Economic and Social Councils of the EU and the EESC” in Rome. The topic of this year's conference was “The ESCs role in sustainable development and the implementation of the Social Pillar”.
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.