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Commission policy strategy out of touch with peoples' lives


13 Mar 2008


EU Priorities 2020

Responding to the Commission's statement outlining its policy strategy for 2009, German GUE/NGL MEP Helmuth Markov regretted that no tangible programme is available to work on and that "no major strategic changes could be expected."

MEP Markov went on to address the pillars of this strategy: information to citizens, growth and jobs, climate change, immigration policy, and a strong Europe in the world. "If we're talking about involving citizens and increasing electoral turnouts, don't we need policies that the people of Europe can benefit from? Telling them that the Lisbon Treaty is marvellous may not be the best approach. Holding referenda could be a better way to gain support for a more democratic EU."

"If you look at the peoples' daily lives", he continued, "what they are experiencing is less social security, stagnating wages, an erosion of workers' rights, rising prices for basic services (health, education, energy and water, childcare) and parallel to this increasing profits by large companies."

He went on to say that Commission talked about flexicurity, "but I do not see any mention of the security component. It talks about strengthening competitiveness, but there is no word about corporate social responsibility. If we want to raise ecological and social standards, we need concrete proposals. All we see here is liberalisation and privatisation, which is not working, particularly in the area of the public services."

In the field of foreign policy and foreign trade, Markov said that Europe's important role for peace, security and stability is stressed and emphasis put on 'multilateralism' and 'partnerships' but there is no mention of how Europe can make a greater contribution to development. "Global Europe seems to be about promoting European products and not developing partnerships. In the same way it talks about Europe playing a role in crisis situations but does not look at the social causes that provoke these problems in the first place".

Gianfranco Battistini +32 475 64 66 28
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 842 320