Participation of Johannes Hahn in the debate on the Future of Europe, in Eupen
On 23 April 2013, Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy, was in Eupen, Belgium, to participate in a debate on the Future of Europe with citizens from the German-speaking community of Belgium.
Karl-Heinz Lambertz, Minister-President of the German-speaking Community of Belgium and President of the Euregio Maas-Rhine (EMR), and Mathieu Grosch, Member of the European Parliament (EPP, BE), also took part in the meeting.
They discussed the future shape of the Euregio in a European Union that slowly recovers from the crisis. In the view of German-speaking Belgians, an important aspect of the future is solidarity. But while nearly all participants agreed that solidarity matters in the Union, there was considerable reluctance to pay for Member States in difficulties. Asked by a citizen about the fundamental idea behind European integration, all three politicians agreed that peace is still an overriding factor. They also shared the idea that in spite of being the biggest economy, the EU is, on a global scale, small with only 7% of the world population. Big differences persist not only between the Member States, but also between the 271 regions of the EU. Mathieu Grosch called for investments in growth, and Johannes Hahn announced that the EU would ask regions to draw up strategies for growth in the next generation of Structural Funds.
The lively discussion focused strongly on giving chances to young people to make the step from education and training into the labour market.
The debate was organised in the framework of the 2013 European Year of Citizens.
Type: Complete press conference
Directorate-General for Communication
Belgium, Dialogue on Europe, EU relations with Member States, European citizenship, Regional policy, Structural Funds,European Commission - visits made
Johannes Hahn,Karl-Heinz Lambertz,Mathieu Grosch
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Credit © European Union, 2013
EC - Audiovisual Service
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