EPP in Athens: “We will create 5 million new jobs!“
Brussels/Athens, 7 February 2019
Leader of the Croatian EPP/HDZ delegation in the European Parliament Dubravka Šuica and Members of the European Parliament Ivana Maletić and Željana Zovko participate in Athens from 6 to 8 February in the meeting of the extended Presidency of the Group of the European Peoples Party under Chairmanship of Manfred Weber. The meeting is, among others, attended by the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, leader of the Party Partido Popular, Pablo Casado and editor-in-chief of The Times, Simon Nixon.
The main topic of the meeting in Athens is unemployment among young people and creation of new jobs. With the clear goal of the EPP Group before the elections for the European Parliament to be held in May in mind: to create 5 million of new jobs in forthcoming years, the leader of the EPP Group in the European Parliament and the main EPP candidate for the Commission President, Manfred Weber presents in the meeting in Athens the economic programme for creation of new jobs, based on innovations, ambitious trade agreements, investment in infrastructure and strong social market economy.
The participants of the Athens meeting may join discussions on different topics in three panels. The deputy leader of the EPP Group, Francoise Grosettete, foreign policies expert from Google, Diego Ciulli, futurologist from Daimler AG, Alexander Mankowsky will take part in the panel about the future of employment and the struggle of young people with unemployment, whereas Vice-president of AT&T, Margaret Peterlin and co-founder of Upstream, Marco Veremis will join discussion about the investment plan for the European Union.
Leader of the Croatian EPP/HDZ delegation in the European Parliament Dubravka Šuica expressed her satisfaction with the discussions in Athens, with a special emphasis on unemployment among young people:
“Regardless of the fact that the EU economy has been growing for 5 years in sequence, the young people are still the most vulnerable group when it comes to employment. The plan for the new term is to open 5 million new jobs, because the European Union simply cannot afford to lose talents, as losing talents means losing future. We will create new jobs by deepening the unique market, by investing in innovations and skills and by building the infrastructure for the 21st century. We have already been working on opening new markets for our companies by concluding new trade agreements. Unlike the socialists, who build prosperity on debts or populists, who always oppose investments, we invest in new jobs by investing in digitalisation, innovations and new skills! Athens was selected for the venue of this meeting, because the accountability of nowadays policy creators for the future of the Mediterranean is also one of the topics in focus.”
MEP Ivana Maletić pointed out to the importance of artificial intelligence and development of technology for creation of new and modern jobs:
“Artificial intelligence does not belong to the future. It is already present in our everyday life – in translation programmes and voice-recognition programmes, as well as in autonomous cars and smart houses. Even though the technological solutions make our lives easier, improve the quality of life, as well as the productivity, fear is still present. The only way to align the presence and the future is to apply new types of education and to develop the new know-how. Technology is supposed to help and support people. Machines take over the automatized activities, leaving people more time for creative and cognitive activities. People must remain human, they must respect life and have faith in life, they must work and be creative and build their future with the help of the new and contemporary technology. Young people are educated nowadays for the jobs hard to imagine. They also have to learn how to make the best possible use of such a huge quantity of information and of technology. For realisation of the plan to open 5 million of new jobs we prepared the largest investment programme so far a new -InvestEU, opening of venture capital funds, we double investments in science, research and innovations within the Horizon programme and special investments in education programme and knowledge exchange through Erasmus.”
MEP Željana Zovko stressed the importance of foreign policy for creation of new jobs:
“In last two years I have been continuously pointing out that it is of uttermost importance for the EU, as the largest contributor of foreign aid, to have a stronger and more aggressive foreign policy in order to keep the young people and create new jobs for them. I have stressed this in all the reports I used to work on in the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Committee on Development, where I appealed to a better coordination between EU financial instruments and instruments of international development institutions. I stressed this issue also as a shadow rapporteur of EPP for Chile for enhancing the Association Agreement in order to improve trade and inter-sector cooperation, as well as through the “Horizon Europe” programme, where I also pointed out to the importance of research and innovations in the process of resolving the social and economic challenges in the developing countries.”