We can no longer waste any of our time. We want a responsible and supportive Europe, respectful of human rights. We want a Europe that knows how to welcome diversity in an organised way and make it a truly enriching experiencing. Because on the banknotes we handle every day there are no walls but bridges, no closed ports but open doors and windows, symbolising the European spirit of openness and cooperation.
Speeches & Statements
We have just signed a joint statement that puts in black and white our areas of agreement and clear recommendations on some very crucial topics for the future of our societies.
With today's joint statement, we send a powerful signal and a concrete messages to the political authorities on both sides: after all, if actors as diverse and varied as we are, from both Chinese and European civil society, manage to speak with one voice, then our politicians have to take note.
Ladies and gentlemen, I see the input that will be provided at the EU-China Round Table in the context of the overall relationship between the EU and China, such as the EU-China Strategic Partnership and the recent joint statement adopted at the EU-China summit in April this year.
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 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.
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.
Recent events are showing us that we must not let down our guard and believe that the 60 years of peace in Europe are to be taken for granted. Our Fundamental Rights, which are enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union are not to be taken for granted. It is inadmissible that last year saw the largest number of anti-semitic acts in decades, leading to an increasing sense of emergency among Jewish communities worldwide.