Hannes Swoboda in Bucharest: "What helps Romania, also helps the EU"
The Socialists and Democrats called for the continuation of the fight against poverty and emigration at its recent Relaunching Europe event under the title of "Solidarity and Opportunities - For an inclusive Romania!" yesterday in Bucharest, Romania.
The Relaunching Europe initiative, launched by the S&D Group in 2012, aims at entering into dialogue with citizens and journalists all over Europe about the future of the EU. For further information on the initiative, please go to: www.relaunchingeurope.eu
When speaking in Bucharest, Hannes Swoboda, S&D Group President, said:
"Romania has the highest rate of economic growth in Europe. A lot has already been done to help the poorest people in the country but poverty and high unemployment, especially among young people, remain key challenges. We must help Romania to fight these problems.
"We see lots of Romanians emigrating to other countries in search of jobs. This cannot be the solution. We have to help Romania to develop a climate in which people can stay and will want to by creating decent jobs and improving living conditions in the country itself.
"The fact that Romania has increased the absorption rate for the use of EU social funds is welcomed. EU funds are an effective tool in the fight against poverty and social exclusion and are also an effective means of improving the inclusion of minorities such as Roma. However, political stability is needed in order to continue its progress towards growth and a new social balance.
"What helps Romania, also helps the EU. The interests of Romania are also in the interest of the European Union. It is one Europe and it should not be divided into people with and without certain rights. That is why we reiterate our call for Romania to be included in Schengen".
Corina Creţu, S&D Member and host of the event in Romania, said:
"We have to eradicate poverty and fight the increasing income gap between rich and poor. Over the last few years the left-wing government has taken various measures such as building new hospitals and schools as well as increasing the minimum wage. These have been important steps which we need to build on.
"Emigration can be prevented by changing conditions in our own country. We also need to end the stigmatisation of Romanian people working in other EU countries. In line with the free movement of labour, Romanians have the right to move abroad and as found in several studies, often contribute to the economic growth of these countries. It is wrong to refer to them as immigrants as they are working legally in other EU member states".