Lopatka: EU must reach the people's hearts!
State Secretary Lopatka underlines the peace aspect of the EU
Vienna, 8 May 2013 – On the occasion of the Europe Day on 9 May, State Secretary Dr. Reinhold Lopatka made reference to the European achievements of the past few years: "The global financial and economic crisis has hit Europe hard, but it also set the reform engines into motion. A lot of distance has been covered over the past few years." The State Secretary referred to the rescue measures, such as the European Stability Mechanism, the fundamental reforms such as the Fiscal Pact and tools for common control of economic policy measures. "The reform efforts are being continued. Work on the implementation of an economic and currency union began in December 2012, with the objective of uniform rules for banking and of enticing member states to coordinate and align their economic policies increasingly along common, sustainable goals. I believe that we will require more skills and competence on the European level in future to effectively monitor implementation of these measures in the member states", the State Secretary said.
"However, Europe is more than merely financial and economic policies. "We must not forget the peace project that the EU is and that has brought a European-wide zone of peace and stability. Differences of opinion are today being settled at the negotiating table, and not on the battlefield", Lopatka said. "We can be proud of our European model of life that is unique in the world and ensures a high standard of healthcare and social services. The EU accounts for fifty percent of the global social spending, this is not a matter of course, but an achievement that we need to preserve."
The European model of life can only be secured if Europe remains competitive. "We will have to push European business to remain a serious player in global competition and to be able to finance our model of life. We need real growth instead of growth financed by new national debt. European states should thus strive first and foremost to reduce their debt. In my opinion this is also the right approach for fighting the dramatic increase in unemployment rates", Lopatka said.
Referring to Jacques Delors who once said that it was impossible to fall in love with a single market, State Secretary Lopatka said: "The EU must reach the people’s hearts. My wish is that the people of Europe should have a real sense of themselves as being a part of the EU. Europe must be more than an elite project! I believe that more information about the EU and Austria's membership in it is our central task. This is why I vist companies all throughout Austria on my DARUM EUROPA information tour, to discuss with employees, to answer their questions and to discuss benefits and disadvantages openly. I am convinced that information and discussion can help to reduce insecurities and inspire interest in Europe", the State Secretary concluded.
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