The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held the Civil Society for rEUnaissance event on 21 February 2019 to discuss the key role that organised civil society must play for the future of Europe - just over 90 days from the European elections. The event brought together the highest representatives of the European institutions and civil society organisations from across the entire EU, among them 16‑year‑old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Committee of the Regions President Karl-Heinz Lambertz, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer, ETUC Secretary General Luca Visentini, Solidar Secretary General and Co‑Chair of the Liaison Group Conny Reuter, 'EU Supergirl' Madeleina Kay and many other speakers.
In his opening speech, EESC President Luca Jahier referred to growing Euroscepticism, xenophobia and racism across Europe, saying that democracy was under attack and that European values were being questioned. "This is not the time for resignation, it is the time to dream and to dare," he declared. "The 2030 Agenda is a win-win situation, it sums up the efforts of all of us and represents the economic and social contract for the 21st century." The EESC has a key role to play: "We give voice to the thousand faces of 'Europe at work', we have to make sure that this dialogue will never be compromised. The worst thing would be to remain silent, we have instead to make the voice of the 'good ones' heard," he continued. "Whatever it takes, we will dare a sustainable Europe," he exclaimed.
Watch the press conference with Greta Thunberg and President Luca Jahier