When I look at the proposals brought forward initially by the Commission, and now, last week, by the Finnish presidency on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), I can only be disappointed and genuinely concerned. Disappointed because already the Commission proposal of May 2018 remained too prudent. Although the EU executive didn't have an easy task, as it had to deal with the announced departure of the UK and with a number of Member States opposed to go above 1% of the Gross National Income (GNI), it managed to craft a budget proposal which contains some timely, forward looking reform suggestions.
Culture and sustainable development go hand-in-hand. Culture is a powerful catalyst for the much-needed paradigm shift in thinking development beyond economic growth - for a future that is equitable, inclusive, peaceful, and environmentally sustainable.
Today's vote in the European Parliament opens the way to a new era for Europe. I am convinced that new Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and her team of Executive Vice-Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Commissioners will usher a new momentum for our continent, after the good results of the European elections in May. Our citizens have given us five years to build the Europe of tomorrow and we should not waste this chance.
Thirty years ago, the world woke up to the crumbling of the Berlin Wall. Few had seen it coming, few had anticipated the implosion of the Communist bloc. The images of these days will never be forgotten. Hundreds of citizens swarming to the Wall, chipping away at it with hammers, hugging strangers from the other side. These are ever present memories for our generation.
The business sector has the innovation, tools and expertise to make the shift to climate neutrality, happen. What it needs now is a political leadership and regulatory certainty. It is of key importance to send clear and timely signals to businesses, especially SMEs for them to be able to adapt their strategies while remaining competitive on the markets.
I am convinced that the EESC has a genuine added value to offer to facilitate the inclusion of civil society. The EESC could give a formal contribution to inter-institutional dialogue proposed by the European Commission as part of the 'Rule of Law Review Cycle'.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is deeply disappointed about EU leaders’ decision to further postpone opening accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania at the European Council of 17-18 October, due to the lack of unanimity between the Members States.
Culture can help us overcome the current systemic, political and identity crisis in Europe and dare us to dream, to create new perspectives. For we need to start dreaming again, without being bridled by fear of failure. Perhaps this, as well, is a lesson we can learn from Leonardo da Vinci: many of Leonardo's inventions did not work, but they inspired many generations to search for new solutions. What we see as challenges are only steps in a successful way forward.