MEUSAC Head Dr Vanni Xuereb questioned whether we are focused enough on the social dimension of the EU as much as we should be. He was speaking during one of a series of events organised by MEUSAC on November 9, 2017 on the European Commission’s reflection papers on the future of Europe.
He said the reflection paper starts by taking a positive attitude on various aspects of today’s society, but also picks up on the anxiety citizens are feeling on the future.
Another important effort by the Union to redirect its focus on its citizens is the Social Pillar, he highlighted.
He also spoke of the event in the context of MEUSAC’s relaunch and thanked Parliamentary Secretary Dr Aaron Farrugia for being very supportive in seeing how MEUSAC can focus more on issues where we can make the EU appear to be more relevant, especially in the lives of our citizens.
Dr Farrugia meanwhile said that the celebrations surrounding the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome afforded EU leaders the opportunity to outline the achievements of the past six decades and to set out the main focus of the EU’s agenda for the future. In the Rome Declaration, EU leaders committed to working towards key aims such as a safe and secure Europe; a prosperous and sustainable Europe and a social Europe and a stronger Europe.
With these objectives, he said, the EU started responding to the concerns of its citizens with a further pledge to listen and respond to citizens’ concerns and to engage actively in social and public dialogue.
This, he continued, also involves explaining that the European project has been a success. Over the past 60 years the EU has become, comparatively speaking, a zone of prosperity, creating an area where our citizens enjoy the highest living standards, the highest levels of social protection, the highest levels of labour rights, among others.
He also spoke about the reflection paper, saying that it prepares the way for a full and open discussion about where our societies want to go and how the EU can help them get there.
Ms Fabiani Pierini from the European Commission, spoke via video conference.