The President

I spent all of today, following an early-morning meeting of the management board, in a meeting chaired by EESC President Staffan Nilsson, in which he consulted with the Chairmen and women of the Committee’s specialised Sections, its Consultative Committee on Industrial Change and its observatories,  on his intended updated work programme, Engaging People for a Sustainable Europe. Staffan still has a year-and-a-half of his mandate before him and wants to plan ahead. The work programme is based on three priorities: dialogue and participation; sustainability and growth; and solidarity and development. The purpose of the meeting was above all to identify all the milestone activities of the Committee (from European Consumer Day through the Civil Society Prize to Single Market Forums and national hearings in the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy). The Committee is necessarily reactive when it comes to giving its opinion on the European Commission’s legislative proposals, but it is also pro-active, above all in ensuring strong civil dialogue in priority policy areas. Of course, the Committee must also be ready and able to react to unforeseen developments but, as the head of the administration that has to ensure that the Committee’s activities run smoothly and effectively, I can only applaud the President’s initiative in organising such planning exercises. For the record, the meeting went very well.