At a time when the European Parliament has just started a new term and the European Commission has a new team in place, the European Economic and Social Committee is continuing to move forwards as a committed partner of the Latvian Presidency. As the representative of European civil society, our committee has recently seen confirmation of its key role in building a more democratic European Union in the European Parliament report that has recognised its work as being critical to the success of the European citizens’ initiative. And this is the path on which we wish to continue.
The presidency is returning to Luxembourg, a founding Member State that not only plays joint host to the institutions but, thanks to its pivotal position in the centre of Europe, in fact helped to create the fledgling predecessor of today’s European Union. The Grand Duchy will undoubtedly bring to bear its unique and successful experience both in genuinely integrating itself into Europe, and in integrating Europe within its borders.
The Dutch Presidency wants a Union that focuses on the essentials: jobs, growth and connection. Many challenges lie ahead: a.o. unemployment, poverty, an ageing population, the flow of refugees, the rapid change in the global economy, scarce resources, energy costs and the impact of climate change. The Dutch Presidency intends to promote a Union that connects, a Union based on fundamental values supported by its citizens.
In the first half of 2019 Romania assumes, for the first time, the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. During this semester, key matters are at the forefront of the EU agenda: the debate on the Future of Europe, the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and on the cohesion policy, the Brexit and the European elections in May 2019. Romania will need to steer discussions, demonstrate vision and have the responsibility of making decisions that impact the entire European Union.
Newsletter of the Various Interests' Group
For the first time in the history of the European Union, twelve years after its accession, the Slovak Republic will take up the presidency of the Council on 1 July.
In the second half of 2019, Finland will hold for the third time the presidency of the Council of the European Union. This is a crucial period when the EU faces many environmental, economic, social and societal challenges, including the still-ongoing Brexit process and threats from populist forces in the Member States.
Main priorities of the Finnish Presidency include sustainable growth, protection of the rule of law, security policy and climate policy. All of these go hand in hand with the priorities of the EESC and form a good basis for future cooperation.
At the start of each Council Presidency the EESC outlines its priorities in an information brochure for the six-month period. With a very busy programme, the EESC brochure gives a taste of what to expect during the first-time Maltese Presidency.
In the second half of 2017, Estonia will take on the presidency of the EU Council for the first time.