Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-01-17-Speech-1-100"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, Mr Berend’s report is precisely in line with the strategy determined by the European Commission inasmuch as the question of increasing competitiveness is brought right to the fore. The overarching objectives of the structural funds such as job creation, boosting equality of opportunity, increasing the sustainability of employment and development, are only mentioned in passing. This attitude appears to me to be unjustified. I would also ask that a great deal more emphasis be placed on these points in the seventh periodic report. This does not mean that I do not see the need for competitiveness, particularly as I myself am an entrepreneur in an Objective 1 Region, that is in Brandenburg in the Federal Republic of Germany, and am only too aware of the problems and concerns of small and medium-sized enterprises. It is absolutely crucial that parallel temporary measures be introduced in the Objective 1 Regions, that is to say job creation measures, special programmes for supporting employment opportunities for women and initiatives to help people set up their own business. They are supported by appropriate European Union structural fund activities. Supporting only the competitiveness of companies will never be able to compensate for the envisaged cohesion between economic and social development, simply because there is no basis for a self-supporting upturn in these Objective 1 Regions. After all, the knowledge that economic development alone does not help to combat unemployment substantiates the fact than an increase of at least 3% in gross domestic product is needed to create any additional jobs at all. Concentrating to the exclusion of all else on supply and demand-orientated economic policy is not the answer. And those that do pursue such a policy must invest in expansion for the most part and, to a lesser extent, in rationalisation. It is imperative for this to go hand in hand with a demand-orientated economic policy if we are to have any chance at all of improving the social situation in these areas. The situation varies to an enormous degree throughout the regions. In other words, what is needed is a number of accompanying measures if anything at all is to be accomplished there. For example, these would be measures for vocational training, for further education, for re-integrating people who have already been excluded from the production process, for the flexibilisation of working time and working time arrangements, in order to bring about a definite improvement in the integration of personal and social aspects and perhaps also to promote employment opportunities for women again."@en1

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