With 2020 approaching, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will be holding a conference to take stock of the Europe2020 strategy and explore what lessons can be drawn from this experience to forge a new overall strategy for the future development of the European Union.  The conference, which will take place on 27-28 November 2017 in Budapest, is organised with the support of the Hungarian Economic Association, the Hungarian Ministry for Human Resources and the National Hungarian Council for Sustainable Development.

The event will gather members of the EESC and national Economic and Social Councils, European Union institutions, representatives of the Hungarian government, social partners and other representatives of Hungarian civil society.

Key speakers will include:

  • Etele Baráth, former Hungarian Minister for European Affairs and President of the EESC’s Europe 2020 Steering Committee
  • Zoltán Balog, Minister of Human Resources
  • Luca Jahier, President of the various Interests Group of the EESC
  • Philippe Lamberts, MEP, Co-Chair of the Group of Greens/European Free Alliance
  • Ferenc Takács Szabolcs, current Hungarian Secretary of State for European Affairs
  • Gyula Pleschinger, President of the Hungarian Economic Association, member of the Monetary Council of the National Bank of Hungary
  • Péter Balázs, professor at Central European University and former European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Vice-President of the Hungarian Economic Association
  • Csaba Kőrösi, director of Environmental Sustainability at the Office of the President of Hungary
  • Miklós Soltész, Secretary of State, Ministry of Human Capacities
  • Gábor Zupkó, head of the European Commission’s Representation in Hungary

During the conference participants will discuss what worked well (and worked less well) in the Europe 2020 strategy and draw conclusions to shape a coherent, inclusive and sustainable post-2020 strategy.

Topics for discussion include:

  • strengthening cohesion,
  • developing the EMU,
  • implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights,
  • increasing stakeholder participation,
  • compliance with subsidiarity and
  • ensuring the legitimacy of the European project among citizens.

In addition, the post Europe 2020 strategy must be consistent with a longer term approach for Europe’s sustainable development until 2050.

With this conference, the EESC aims to provide guidance on the responsibility civil society organisations and other stakeholders have in leading the development towards an inclusive and ambitious long term sustainable strategy for Europe.

The outcome of the conference will feed into the ongoing reflection on the Future of Europe, which began with the White Paper published by the European Commission in March 2017. As such this conference follows on from the national debates the EESC organised in 27 Member States earlier this year. The conference conclusions will also be factored into in future work by the EESC.

Finally, this hearing will also raise awareness in Hungary of European political priorities as well as the work of the EESC and its network of national Economic and Social Councils.

More information on the event and the EESC’s work on Europe 2020 is available at: http://bit.ly/2AkGUPR