Following the violent terrorist attacks which took place in Paris on Friday, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Committee of the Regions (COR) observed a minute of silence today to show solidarity with the victims and their families. The two institutions' Presidents, Georges Dassis of the EESC and Markku Markkula of the COR, addressed Members and staff. Mr Dassis gave a moving speech on compassion and human solidarity. In his words, "These despicable murderers obsessed with hatred, attack the people, democracy and fundamental values of the French Republic. In this way, they attack the people, our democracy and fundamental values in Europe because they are one in the same."
Brussels, 14 November 2015
In the name of all my colleagues, members of the European Economic and Social Committee, who represent before the European Institutions all the major employer, trade union and citizen-based organisations in the European Union, I would like to express our indignation and outrage on the cowardly and barbaric attacks which have been committed in Paris this night.
Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends, the French people and their institutions with whom we express our complete solidarity.
En marge de la réunion du Bureau du Comité économique et social européen qui s'est tenue ce mardi 10 novembre 2015 dans les locaux de la Cour de justice de l'Union européenne, le président du Comité a eu l'occasion de rencontrer le Dr Koen Lenaerts, président de la Cour.
Social dumping in the road transport sector and problems with cross-border infrastructure were the main topics at the transport conference held by the European Economic and Social Committee and the Economic and Social Council of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on 11 and 12 November. The conference was attended by François Bausch, Luxembourg's Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure; Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment and MEP Jutta Steinruck from the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.
European industry needs an environment conducive to innovative activity. We must strengthen investment in innovation and foster business dynamism. Investment is needed not only in scientific R&D but also in areas that are becoming key features of corporate success, such as design, software, data, firm-specific skills and marketing. These are some of the ideas that emerged from the conference on the Reindustrialisation of Europe: Food Manufacturing, Innovation and Circular Economy, which took place on 27 October in Milan. The event was hosted by the Employers' Group, together with Coldiretti and Confindustria.
EESC member Carmelo Cedrone takes part in an international conference in the US
On 2-3 November 2015, a conference to discuss the relations between the Eurozone and the Americas was held at the University of Texas at Austin. The conference brought together representatives of several universities in Europe, North and South America, the European Parliament, the US Senate, etc. They addressed very interesting questions, in particular the problem of debtor-creditor relationships in the modern world, the Eurozone matters, its economic and political governance, etc. The EESC was represented by Carmelo Cedrone, vice-president of the ECO section.
The members of the European Economic and Social Committee, my colleagues for over ten years now, have just done me the honour of electing me to be their new president. As a labour activist and representative of civil society within the EESC, I have always fought to make Europe more democratic and more socially cohesive.
Fostering international trade is beneficial for companies, consumers and employees. In 15 years' time, 90% of global demand will come from outside the EU. Therefore, establishing a simple and predictable trade policy should be a priority for the EU as one of the main factors in boosting growth and creating new jobs. The participants at the conference on the Role of international trade in the reindustrialisation of Europe discussed the future of EU trade policy, the role of FTAs and how to revive European industry through trade and investment. The conference took place in Milan on 26 October and was organised by the EESC Employers' Group, together with Confcommercio and AICE (Italian Association of Foreign Trade).
On 23 October the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) co-organised a seminar entitled Will the Climate Conference keep its promises? The seminar was organised by the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council, the Union of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions of the Francophone Member States and governments (UCESIF), the Union of Economic and Social Councils of Africa (UESA) and the World Forum for a Responsible Economy, in preparation for COP21.
During a ceremony at the EESC, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has appointed the musician Ozark Henry as its Goodwill Ambassador for Belgium against human trafficking. The appointment of this a well-known Belgian performing artist is aimed at increasing visibility and assisting in mobilizing support in the country to tackle human trafficking.