Hannes Swoboda: "Basta! We have to stop destroying human capital in Europe through lack of action"
Ahead of the EU Summit to start in Brussels tomorrow, S&D Group president Hannes Swoboda said:
"Youth unemployment has reached more than 60% in several member states. We can no longer wait to take action.
"Bilateral agreements with one eye on the elections like the one in Germany and other countries are not enough to get millions of young people back to work. This is an area where we need united European action.
"We need sufficient funds for the youth guarantee and a wide enough scope. The current €6 billion allocated to it is not sufficient and would only cover the first two years. We must introduce flexibility, with 'front-loading' and 'back-loading', and a mid-term revision to ensure we have funds available to cover the whole seven-year period."
On the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), Hannes Swoboda said:
"It is not acceptable that important decisions such as progress on the EMU have been delayed until December. We as a Group have done our homework and come up with proposals. The Council has to do the same. Why is action delayed?
"The EMU is not working today. The banking union has not been completed even though action is so urgently needed with the continuing crisis.
"Although the Council agreed to include a social dimension in the EMU, we have not seen any concrete proposals. The EMU can only be effective if it includes a social component in the form of a social pact.
"We have been calling for a social pact for a long time and we have made a range of constructive suggestions including a scoreboard on employment and social indicators, EU 2020 policy benchmarks, an unemployment insurance scheme and a special eurozone council on social issues.
"There is also not sufficient co-ordination on boosting competitiveness between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Commission.
"Finally, it is time for real democratic accountability. The technocratic Troikas have to be stopped. Criticism is mounting so, Commissioner Rehn, please listen to these calls and assume your responsibility."
The S&D Group has set out its vision for an alternative economic model for the EU in a new book – Basta! An end to austerity: democratic and economic renewal in the EU – published by Hannes Swoboda, S&D Group President, and David Gow, independent journalist and former European business editor at The Guardian.
S&D Group president Hannes Swoboda will be present in the Council building on Thursday from 17:15-18:15 to speak with journalists.