EESC (European Economic and Social Committee)

President of the EESC steering committee Europe 2020 speaks on 'The Added Value of the EESC in the EU'
The EESC was set up by the 1957 Rome Treaties in order to involve economic and social interest groups in the establishment of the common market and to provide institutional machinery for briefing the European Commission and the Council of Ministers on European Union issues. The Single European Act (1986), the Maastricht Treaty (1992), the Amsterdam Treaty (1997) and the Treaty of Nice (2000) have reinforced the EESC's role as a consultative body of the European Union.

Committed to European integration, the EESC contributes to strengthening the democratic legitimacy and effectiveness of the European Union by enabling civil society organisations from the Member States to express their views at European level. In behalf of that, the body plays not only an advisory role and an information and integration role, but maintains also relations with economic and social councils and social interest groups in third countries. However, The European Parliament's Liberal group has called for targeted spending cuts to the EU's common agricultural policy, together with the potential scrapping of several EU institutions.

Possible savings can be made by "fundamentally restructuring certain parts of the EU administration, such as the Committee of Regions ... [and] abolishing the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and others," says the document.

As said, the Committee represents the social and civil society and pays this difficult times attention to the development of the financial crisis. It analyzed the political shifts and recognized in Europe not a democratic deficit, but a deficit of politics. Europe has to adjust.
The event covered the context of European integration in the framework of post war II till about 2000 and touched the national economic interests, the position of Europe in the world and business response on the new order. It was mentioned that business wants further European integration, but it was not quit clear how to realize this. New ways for consumption, markets and manufacturers? Possibly the Danish model could serve as example.
China operates within a climate of state driven investment. Europe has a strong economy; business chains are everywhere. It is clear protectionism is not welcome, but open markets.
Europe 2020 should be the holistic concept to speed up growth, based on competitiveness, sustainable development and job creation. Also, industrial policies and higher education are included in the strategy.

Trade unions and flexibility of global markets have an important role. Employees, employers and social groups clashes on influence. There is need for cooperation in the present environment. But, situation looks far better than on national level.