Neoklis Sylikiotis presents opinion on EU cohesion policy report
Cypriot MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis presents his opinion on 'Investment for jobs and growth: promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion in the Union'.
"The economic crisis has had an indisputably serious impact on economic, social and territorial cohesion of the EU. The differences between member states are increasing dramatically. The gap between rich and poor, nations, peoples and citizens, grew even more. What are needed are new active measures in order to really achieve economic, social and territorial cohesion in the EU."
Speaking as rapporteur for the opinion, Mr. Silikiotis stressed that the austerity measures, which were presented as the answer to the crisis, had a negative impact on industrial structures, led to the de-industrialisation of the South, reduced investments, deregulating labour relations, violated fundamental labour rights, leading to the closure of many SMEs and condemned to unemployment millions of people. Thus, he analysed his proposals in order to tackle these problems.
Initially he emphasised the need for a comprehensive strategy for industry that stimulates the real economy, in order to tackle unemployment, promote growth and create new jobs with enhanced labour rights and access to public health and education. Then he explained that new projects and new investments promoted by the EU funds should have an employment clause that includes the obligation to create new and non-precarious jobs. He highlighted the need to support public investments, which will respond to the needs of society, and the need to provide incentives for development for SMEs. He also argued that it is important to use research tools, Horizon 2020 and the COSME program to promote innovation and research.
Mr. Silikiotis noted that priority should be given to the member states most affected by the economic crisis and added that for the achievement of real cohesion we must promote real convergence policies based on safeguarding and promoting the potential of each country to create jobs, sustainable use of natural resources and protect the environment.
The opinion of Mr. Silikiotis will be voted on in the Committee on Energy, Industry and Research on 23 March.