Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-01-17-Speech-1-095"

PredicateValue (sorted: default)
dcterms:Is Part Of
lpv:document identification number
lpv:translated text
". Mr President, Commissioner Barnier, ladies and gentlemen, the sixth periodic report contains a comprehensive and detailed description of the economic and social situation in the Union’s regions and of their development trends and represents, as I see it, a solid basis for the formulation of structural policy priorities at Union level. The report demonstrates that – measured in terms of gross domestic product per capita – the poorest regions are beginning to catch up and that is how the situation is set to continue. This can largely be attributed to the structural funds, even though the disparity between the poorest and wealthiest regions is still considerable. Employing European structural funds has already enabled convergence in standards of living. Over a ten year period, the gap in average GDP has been reduced by ten percent. This has particularly affected the four cohesion countries – in the positive sense of course – as it has the five former East German Länder. Unfortunately, this European-wide development was due, in the main, to an increase in productivity and only partly to an increase in the level of employment. Hence we would urge the Commission and the Member States to give due attention to the effect measures have on employment in future. The lion’s share of the transfer payments has been, and still is, used for investment in rationalisation and modernisation, with the intention of improving labour productivity. However, this has dampened the effect of structural policy on employment. This is not an assessment but, for the moment, merely an observation. The report establishes, however, that regional differences in the labour market have, in fact, continued to increase. Unemployment is currently at 24% in 25 of the weakest regions. Ten years ago it was 4% lower, i.e. 20%. And I might just mention that in the 25 best regions unemployment averages 3.6%; it was 2.5% ten years ago, hence there has been an increase of only 1.1%. The report makes clear the fact that 50% of unemployment is structural unemployment. That is why – and this is the conclusion we can draw from this report – promoting competitiveness within industry and infrastructure for economic activity must be central to the structural policy, in that order. The corollary to this, it has to be said, is that measures for the retraining and ongoing training of the work force are of no small importance either. In addition, more attention must be given to boosting entrepreneurial potential in small and medium-sized enterprises, and the services they call upon must be developed further. Another conclusion to be drawn from the report is that if financial support is to be utilised efficiently, then the measures must be brought into line with the broadly diversified means of support intended to establish a middle-class and minimum standard of living. A very important point to my mind. In the conclusions of this report, we make the Commission aware that the legal bases for cooperation between regions and Member States and applicant countries must be improved and point to how crucial it is for the budget to be consolidated, as a prerequisite to the success of economic and monetary union and enlargement eastwards. We call upon those Member States that have not yet submitted a satisfactory map of development regions to do so immediately and, of course, we expect the Commission to examine with due haste the operational programmes for the regions for the new support period 2000 to 2006 in the light of the results of the sixth periodic report, and to do everything possible to enable this support period to commence without delay in those areas where it is needed and in the proper manner."@en1

Named graphs describing this resource:


The resource appears as object in 2 triples

Context graph