Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-01-17-Speech-1-097"

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"Mr President, the Group of the Party of European Socialists in this Parliament agrees with the report that Mr Berend has just presented and congratulates the author, both on the quality of his conclusions and on his flexibility, which ensured that the different groups were able to incorporate amendments in committee. It must be remembered that, currently, the European Union’s overall competitiveness is, in general terms, 81% of that of the United States of America and that this figure will only improve if the figure for our competitive units, that is the regions, also improves. Furthermore, this is at a time when technological development, economic globalisation and our problems, which are enlargement and the single currency, demand that the regions, as well as businesses and individuals, make more of an effort to be competitive. The European Commission’s sixth report presents very valuable conclusions. I shall summarise two of those highlighted by the rapporteur, one positive and one negative. The first is that important advances have been made in regional and social cohesion throughout the Union and that the Community Funds have been a major, although not decisive, factor in reducing regional inequalities. The negative conclusion is that the great effort made has been more efficient in harmonising the European regions’ GDP and productivity than in harmonising its levels of unemployment. It is therefore necessary to link structural financing more closely to job creation. This, Commissioner, is the first commandment for the coming period. Thus, Mr President, I ask my fellow Members to approve this report and I ask the Commission, as other speakers have done, to take good note of the conclusions of their sixth periodic report when they address the programming for the period 2000-2006."@en1

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