Citizens to be put at the heart of the public debate

Manuel Barroso & Henri Malosse

The Corsican/French Henri Malosse was elected president of the Employers’ Group of the EESC in 2006 and has been actively involved in EU policies supporting SMEs and, in particular, inspired the creation of the Euro Info Centres, specialist EU policy information centres, in over 300 towns and cities across Europe.

Mr Malosse had quickly developed a firm conviction that Europe has a key role to play in nurturing a sense of European citizenship.

Henri Malosse is keenly aware of the disconnection between Europe and its citizens, a fact again brought home by the Greek and Cyprus crises. Convinced that one of the answers lies in a rebalancing of forces in Brussels, he wants the European Union’s second assembly to do more to embody people’s real expectations in areas such as job creation, combating youth alienation, protection of savings and access to health care.

“The greatest challenge facing the EU today is the lack of support by European citizens. To win back popular support must be the top priority for those of us who believe in the European integration project. These days, as if the financial crisis were not enough, European governance has accelerated the break-up with the people. And who can blame them when Europe shows that it is capable of taxing people’s life savings! The EU needs someone who can put forward strong and uncomfortable messages, capable of casting a positive critical eye and shaking up its institutions. I want to be part of this and press for a more ambitious EU that truly prioritises the interests of its citizens. And the urge is now.”

“It is the role of the Committee, on behalf of the various interests that make up our society, to engage with the other institutions on their strategies and hold them to account. The public will only be able to put their trust in us again if we do this.”
Henri Malosse, EESC president

In an ever more competitive world in which one crisis is followed by the next, our social model and the rights it brings are being put to the test. He is convinced that the only way to pull ourselves out of the recession that is pushing our society to breaking point and driving our young people to despair, is by making the most of the talent and skills of Europeans. With the public increasingly at a loss to understand decisions taken by the European Union Henri Malosse is kicking off a 2½-year tenure as head of the EU institution representing civil society.

Official emblem of the EESC

Official emblem of the EESC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To this end, the EESC will step up its capacity to anticipate developments, open up its work and scrutinise EU policies.

He will be assisted by vice-presidents Jane Morrice, former deputy-speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and an EESC member since 2006, and Hans-Joachim Wilms, European Affairs Officer, Trade Union for Construction, Agriculture and the Environment (IG BAU) and a German EESC member since 1994.

Malosse is expected to make more waves than his predecessor, Staffan Nilsson, and is bringing in an outsider to head his private office, Rudy Aernoudt. “The appointment makes a curious progression for the 50-year-old Belgian, who has already headed private offices in the Walloon, Flemish and Belgian federal governments.” says European Voice.

At the beginning of May Mr Malosse for the first time met the president of the European Commission, José  Manuel Barroso, as EECS president  creating a new appointment for June, during which the Commission will be presented the issues, on which civil society expects priority actions from the European Union.

Mr Malosse has called for the president of the European Commission, José  Manuel Barroso, to ensure greater consistency among European policies, following the announcement that a penalty will be imposed on the Société Nationale Maritime Corse-Méditerranée (SNCM). He pointed out that a decision like this will affect not only a business, but also more than 1 400 direct employees and hundreds of indirect jobs and would further widen the gulf with the European public.


Find more:

Penalty for the SNCM an inconsistent decision, says EESC President Henri Malosse

  • Quango unchained: The EU’s subculture you’ve probably never heard of (but that thinks it embodies your expectations) (
    The absence of any meaningful impact of a body like the EESC on the multiple crises plaguing the eurozone borders on being comical.
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  • The French re-connection (
    Henri Malosse, who has been a member of the EESC since 1995, latterly as head of the employers’ group. He has the dubious distinction of having co-authored a book with Edith Cresson, on the subject of doing business with the European Union (her expertise in this field brought down the Santer Commission).
  • Local discourse must be engine of European debate (
    One of the most notable findings of the Accountability Report 2012 is that average attendance by Irish Ministers at meetings of the Council of the EU in 2012 stood at 97 per cent, up 11 percentage points on the same figure for 2011. We believe this encouraging statistic shows the Government’s commitment to improving Ireland’s relationships, reputation and results in Europe. It is vital this engagement continues.
  • The real overall cost of intermittent renewable energy must be better assessed and revealed (
    The EESC argues that a sustainable energy system – comprised largely of renewables – is the only long-term solution to our energy future but transparency and a more open debate on costs’ related issues are essential for paving the way, maintaining the strong support of citizens and preparing the required policy decisions.
    The EESC is convinced that, by providing more clarity on the total costs of intermittent RES and alternative energy options, the EU could substantially improve policy-making and ease transition towards a low carbon economy. The EESC also strongly supports the move towards a European Energy Community, since this is the best way to develop Europe’s potential in a cost-efficient way.
  • 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 Luis Valcárcel Siso, president of the Committee of the Regions in order to look at ways of developing political cooperation between the two Committees. Their joint aim is to make their voice better heard by the Brussels executives and  bureaucracy.
  • Unleashing the potential of children with high intellectual abilities in the European Union (
    I dag viser jeg til en sak fra EU der de nå har kommet med en rapport som omhandler evnerike barn og unge i Europa:
    Hovedpoengene finner du i disse “Key points”:
    On 19 January 2012, the European Economic and Social Committee, acting under Rule 29(2) of its Rules of Procedure, decided to draw up an own-initiative opinion on “Unleashing the potential of children and young people with high intellectual abilities in the European Union”
  • President’s comments on Europe ‘helpful’ says Gilmore (
    Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said President Michael D Higgins’ remarks on European policy in a forthright interview in today’s Financial Times, were “helpful” to the Government in the debate on the euro zone.
    Asked about the President’s criticism of EU leaders and the European Central Bank, Mr Gilmore said Mr Higgins had made a very signfiicant contribution to the debate about Europe’s direction

    “I’m very proud of the fact that during the course of the Irish presidency the president of Ireland made a very clear keynote address to the European Parliament reflecting very clearly the priorities which the Government has for our presidency and the direction which we want see Europe taking.”

  • Trust in EU falls to record low (
    Public confidence in the European Union has fallen to historically low levels in the six biggest EU countries, raising fundamental questions about its democratic legitimacy more than three years into the union’s worst ever crisis, new data shows.After financial, currency and debt crises, wrenching budget and spending cuts, rich nations’ bailouts of the poor, and surrenders of sovereign powers over policymaking to international technocrats, Euroscepticism is soaring to a degree that is likely to feed populist anti-EU politics and frustrate European leaders’ efforts to arrest the collapse in support for their project.
    EU lack of trust

    The study for the Cabinet Office by the European Social Survey, linking university researchers across the EU, found that soaring unemployment, anxiety and insecurity had eroded faith in politics.

    “Overall levels of political trust and satisfaction with democracy [declined] across much of Europe, but this varied markedly between countries. It was significant in Britain, Belgium, Denmark and Finland, particularly notable in France, Ireland, Slovenia and Spain, and reached truly alarming proportions in the case of Greece,” it said.

    Tusk delivered an unusually stark warning that German prescriptions could bring increasing nationalism and populism across the EU in a backlash that was already well under way.”We can’t escape this dilemma: how do you get a new model of sovereignty so that limited national sovereignty in the EU is not dominated by the biggest countries like Germany, for example,” he said pointedly. “Under the surface, this fear will be everywhere: in Warsaw, in Athens, in Stockholm. It will be everywhere without exception.”

    Aart de Geus, head of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, a German thinktank, also warned that the drive to surrender more key national powers to Brussels would backfire. “Public support for the EU has been falling since 2007. So it is risky to go for federalism as it can cause a backlash and unleash greater populism.”

  • EESC Video Challenge’12 (
    EU. Simplifies, connects, provides new opportunities of mobility; generates new possibilities of living. Connected Mobility tells us a story that could be from any citizen of one of the member states of EU, showing the ups and downs of a period of Henrique’s life, always portraying the main advantages of having an EU citizenship.
  • Swedish euro scepticism hits all time high (
    Fewer than one in ten Swedes want to replace the krona with the euro, in an overall EU-confidence dip that political scientists tie to the financial crisis.

    “Whether it’s founded or unfounded, the euro is blamed for what’s happened with Europe’s economy,” Sören Holmberg, political science professor at Gothenburg University, told Sveriges Radio (SR).

    “And the crisis has indirectly affected the Swedish economy.”

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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3 Responses to Citizens to be put at the heart of the public debate

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