Spindelegger: “We need a European-wide discussion about Europe – going well beyond finances and the euro“
Austrian Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger met with President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso for deliberations on current issues of European politics
Vienna, 6 March 2012 – “Growth, innovation and employment come first on our agenda – in Austria and in the European Union. We are currently working on the implementation of the Europe 2020 growth strategy and the EU budget for the period 2014-2020 – this is the right moment to set the course for more growth in the EU”, Spindelegger said in his discussion with Barroso, explaining his proposals for the establishment of a European Growth Fund intended to support mainly innovative small and medium-sized companies and to boost the EU’s competitiveness. “Overcoming the current economic crisis and the national debt situation also means that we must perceive the crisis as an opportunity and get the EU back on track towards growth with farsightedness and determination.”
Spindelegger stressed the importance of solidarity and cohesion within the EU and said that it was important to develop the European idea further. “Europe is not limited to currency issues alone. The construction of a united Europe is unique in the world and a role model. The current crisis has not changed this situation in the least. It is essential that we heighten people’s awareness of these great achievements. We need a European-wide discussion about the next chapter of integration, beyond crisis management and financial engineering.”
The two politicians agreed that the most recent management of the crisis must not lead to a weakening of the Community Method with the Commission at its core. Vice Chancellor Spindelegger suggested reinforcing efforts for further development and improvement of European unification. “Europe is our common basis. We need the trust, loyalty and solidarity of our citizens. In this context we will need to work towards an improvement of their empowerment and participation in the decision-making processes of the EU”, Spindelegger said.
Other important topics of the meeting were the continued stabilisation of the Euro zone, Serbia’s approximation to the EU and the relationship with Hungary.
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