Here you will find the introduction read during the Session 3: EU Social Policies. The Standards of a Social Model in Europe by the moderator Dr. Ina Piperaki in the Second Plus Europe Conference:
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests,
First of all I would like to thank the Organizing Committee for this excellent initiative to organize the Second Plus Europe Conference, in this very important moment for the future of Europe, one week before the European Elections, giving the opportunity of a fruitful dialogue between EU institutions, the private sector, associations, Chambers of Commerce and citizens.
As a result of the very successful First Plus Europe Conference, held last year in Barcelona, and taking into consideration the evolution of Europe throughout this year, as well as the current worldwide very worrying social situation,
- We are more than even convinced the European Union needs urgently a new Construction Profile and new Social Model,taking into at the needs of all European citizens.
- As result of the current multifaceted crisis, we depicted, we notice, a series of social problems raising in the European society: xenophobia, separatism, and communalism, abolition of some human rights and lack of civil liberties.
- Taking into consideration the public perception it appear to us that it’s imperative to eradicate the differences in the quality of everyday life and welfare, established by the economical, financial and moral crisis, between people, between different socio-economical groups, finally between the North and the South of Europe. Those differences do not permit the equal participation of all citizens in a common European Project.
- Further, the communication gap between European citizens and their governors become every day deeper and we consider that we have to work in collaboration with European Union Institutions, i.e. the Commission and the European Parliament and the European Council, in order to create a sustainable, democratic and participative model of European Governance.
- Moreover, a few days before European Elections, having the perception that this environment could help promoting abstention and extreme votes; we would like to stress the importance of participation of all European citizens in the elections procedures, by voting in their respective countries their representatives.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, we are here today because we are convinced that our European society has to face these problems by over-passing recession and favoring growth and employment.
- We will examine this afternoon, with your contribution, the model of a new political and social era which is necessary to be created, based on the indivisible, universal values of dignity, freedom, equality, social cohesion and solidarity, which are the core of the founding principles of the European Union.
Dr. Ina Piperaki
Brussels, the 12th of May 2014