Culture is a powerful tool to build bridges between people and reinforce mutual understanding. Artistic freedom, enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU as well as the Treaty of the EU, is essential for development of our open democracies and our European values and identity. I, therefore, welcome the Council conclusions on an EU strategic approach to international cultural relations and a framework for action of 8 April.
My agenda this week is under the sign of migration: I will visit the Red Star Line Museum, open the 5th Meeting of the European Migration Forum and have a meeting with his Excellency John Issam Darwish, Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Furzol, Zahle and the Bekaa, to talk about his work with refugees along the Lebanese border.
The EESC will switch off the lights in support for Earth Hour. This important annual event reminds us to take joint action for a better future on our planet. We can no longer turn a blind eye to climate change and its impact on our environment and people's lives. The latest UN report is another wake-up call.
Today, once again, we stand together in solidarity to remember the innocent victims and their families, who were struck by the devastating terrorist attacks in Brussels three years ago. It is with great sadness and grievance that we prepare to mark the anniversary of this barbarous attack.
Hundreds of thousands of people are joining Greta Thunberg today for a Global Strike for Future. We can only support the appeal of these young people, who resolutely aim to forge a sustainable Europe, a sustainable planet.
This week at the Conference of Committee Chairs in Strasbourg, I reiterated once again to MEPs that we need to rapidly move toward a rEUnaissance Dare a Sustainable Europe. I laid out the EESC's efforts on the issue and our concrete plans following Sibiu and the EU elections.
Today, on the European Day of Remembrance for the victims of terrorism, we stand together in solidarity. It is with great emotion and compassion for the victims and their families of terrorist attacks that I write those lines. We remember all those who have lost their lives and those who have lost their loved ones in a terrorist attack. The EESC firmly supports the fight against crime and terrorism and emphasises that progress in fighting terrorism and crime in the EU must be consolidated. There must be effective cooperation and coordination between Member States with regard to law enforcement, intelligence and judicial matters.
On the occasion of Women's Day, a beautiful date to celebrate as it marks the victories of long battles fought by the generations of women who came before us, we should renew the commitment to walk the walk on gender equality.
Who can contradict President Emmanuel Macron's call for a European Renaissance? Europe has achieved so much in 60 years of peace, but we cannot take it for granted any longer and must do the utmost to preserve it. No one can disagree with the fact that such a long, uninterrupted period of peace on our continent has not happened for centuries. Likewise, our Single Market, despite economic ups and downs (the oil crisis of the 1970s and the extremely serious and long-lasting crisis of 2007), has generated economic growth and prosperity. The cost of non-Europe is clear.