A new crop of EU ‘Boards’ override the democratic accountability and undermine the EU project

Last Wednesday 16 September the European Economic and Social Committee, an authentic representative of the European organized civil society, adopted an opinion aimed at improving the democratic function and the accountability of the EU decision-making bodies. The EESC acted at the request of the European Parliament. Actually, the Lisbon Treaty contains untapped potential to bring […]

Finally an answer to the hottest question of European youth today: How to make sure Juncker’s Investment Plan works for youth

It was last month, on 25 June 2015, that the ETUC Youth Committee in collaboration with the European Youth Forum organised a rather stimulating conference at the European Economic and Social Committee called “Quality jobs creation for young people: what, how and when?” The Sting was there, attended the conference with interest and at the end made a […]

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU Commission President together with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave a Press conference following the 23rd EU-Japan Summit which took place in Tokyo on 29 May. The focal point of the meeting was supposed to be the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two sides. However the EU dignitary spoke […]

The 28 EU leaders care more about fiscal orthodoxy than effectively fighting youth unemployment

Last week the European Court of Auditors (ECA) published a report on the “risks to the successful implementation of the EU Youth Guarantee”. The ECA review, while noting that according to the Commission the available funding for this much advertised EU project is estimated at €16.7 billion for the 2014-2020 period including national resources, it […]

Finance for SMEs: Alternative supply mechanisms do exist

Indisputably, one of the most crucial barriers to economic growth is the lack of adequate financing for SMEs, across the European Union. Indeed, the problem is more acute in the hardest hit by the financial crisis countries like Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland. In some other member states this setback is chronic. The SMEs […]

The Peoples are missing from EU’s monetary union

The disenchantment of the 28 European Peoples with their Union stems from the special care the EU institutions clearly show for the financial sector aka the banks and not for the unemployed. To put it differently so as the Brussels bureaucrats and the decision makers in Berlin and Paris can understand; the European Economic and […]

Is Europe misjudging its abilities to endure more austerity and unemployment?

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) worries about the “effectiveness of EU policies in bringing young generations back into the labour market”, and quite rightfully so. A steady stream of statistics confirms the assessment that the European economy has entered into a long-term stagnation and very low inflation period without visible exit from it, […]

The true EU unemployment rate may have soared to 21.9%

On top of the 26.2 million of the unemployed, averaging at 12% of EU’s working age population, there is another 10 million of underemployed par-timers who want to work more but they don’t find employment, plus 11.5 million more of working age persons who are available to work but not seeking (9.3 million) or seeking […]

The Brussels bureaucracy blocks the Youth Guarantee scheme

The fate of the Youth Guarantee scheme, constituted to help the under 25s to get a job or a training within four months after leaving the education system, is very characteristic of the importance attached to labour matters by the European decision makers and the Brussels bureaucracy in particular. According to the European Economic and […]

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

Last Friday the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a public hearing on the implementation of European Union policies to counter youth employment. EESC is a consultative body made up by representatives of Europe’s socio-occupational interest groups and others (employers, workers and various interest groups). It gives its members a platform to express their […]

Financiers can turn the world into a dirty and dangerous place

Despite the fact that the civil society is fed up with the absolute indifference of the financial sector about what happens in the real economy, the western political elites continue to nurture the insatiable appetite of the banking system for more book profits. In view of that, the European Economic and Social Committee issued yesterday […]

The Social Committee may accept the new ‘contractual’ Eurozone

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), representing employers, workers and other interest groups, issued yesterday a Press release urging for the creation of the Banking Union and the establishment of a uniform bank resolution procedure. Obviously the leadership of the EESC, after reading the conclusions of the last EU summit of 24-25 October and […]

Social Committee slams the 28 EU leaders for false promises

The president of the European Economic and Social Committee, Henri Malosse, accompanied by the presidents of the Committee’s Employers’ group, Jacek Krawczyk, the Workers’ group, George Dassis and the vice-president of the Various Interests group, Ariane Rodert, met yesterday with the European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy, ahead of the European Summit of 24-25 October. […]

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

Since April 2012, when the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon was actually launched, one of the more successful such efforts was the ECI “on water and sanitation as a human right”. A citizens’ initiative is an invitation for the EU to legislate in areas within its mandate. It has to […]

Civil society organisations disenchanted with “Youth Guarantee”

Since 2008, when the EU financial crisis first broke out, 1000 young people join every day the ranks of the unemployed, according to the European Economic and Social Committee. The EESC issued recently a note strongly criticising the Commission’s proposal entitled “Youth Guarantee project”. This proposal was adopted by the European Council of the 27+1 […]

EU leaders slammed on anti-tax evasion inaction and expensive energy

Only days after the 27 EU leaders gathered in Brussels on 22 May and decided that, “The supply of affordable and sustainable energy to our economies is crucial”, Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service, announced that, “in the second half of 2012 household electricity prices in the EU27 rose by 6.6% and gas prices by 10.3%”. […]

EU will not deliver on promises without democratic accountability

The two main advisory bodies of the European Union, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Committee of the Regions (CoR) expressed their anguish over the growing distance between Brussels and the Peoples of Europe. Last Thursday on the occasion of the plenary session of the EESC, its President Staffan Nielson invited Ramon […]

EU decides “in absentia” of civil society

The European Economic and Social Committee and other European civil society organisations and networks organised this year’s Civil Society Day on Wednesday 6 March at the EESC premises in Brussels. The main and burning conclusion from this event was that the EU decision-making procedures are taking place “in absentia” of any legitimisation by civil society […]

A Brussels antithesis reveals where the EU is heading

Yesterday in the Ecofin Council in Brussels, a handful of politicians from EU’s member states, away from their constituencies, left to be ‘guided’ by the European Commission in mortgaging to the EU’ bureaucracy their counties’ financial sovereignty, by approving the “two pack” directives. On the same occasion they created the clan of the ‘undead’ banks […]

The EU Commission does nothing about the food retailing oligopoly

The theoretically most competitive of all EU markets, namely the large food retailing business, is accused by its suppliers, regrouped in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) of operating a real oligopoly. Despite this very important development, which poses an issue with ground-breaking repercussions on the way our ‘free competition’ economies operate, the European […]

Social Committee teaches Van Rompuy a lesson

During this months’ European Economic and Social Committee’s plenary session, EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy and EESC members held a very important debate on the current guidelines of the European Council and future efforts to reinforce the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Obviously the EESC members wanted to cover the […]