Swoboda ahead of European Council: "Innovation cannot be a serious EU priority without adequate funding"

European Summit - European Council Building

The European Parliament in Strasbourg today discussed the upcoming European Council meeting on innovation and the digital agenda.

Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said in the debate:

"Innovation must be a key priority for European funding, but we need action and not just words from leaders and governments. Innovation and the digital economy are essential for our overall economy: this is where the most new jobs can be created.

"In a more digitalised world, data protection and consumer rights become more important – therefore the European Parliament vote on the data protection package this week was crucial to set sensible standards.

"The European Council needs to deliver an intelligent budget proposal – instead of punishing regions by withdrawing funds because national governments miss targets. For a strong, modern economy we must integrate a progressive budget, progressive consumer protection and innovation policy, and progressive ways to fight unemployment."

Regarding the discussion on migration added to the European Council agenda after the recent Lampedusa tragedy, Hannes Swoboda added:

"It is a disgrace that the European Council intends to do no more than express its 'deep sadness' following the Lampedusa tragedy of 3 October. We cannot postpone these vital discussions on migration and asylum to June 2014 while people continue to risk their lives to make it to Europe."