Employment Summit: extracts from the common press conference by José Manuel Barroso, Mirek Topolanek, John Monks and Ernest-Antoine Seillière
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 07/05/2009
A special Summit dedicated to employment took place in Prague to identify practical ways to keep people in jobs and to get those who have lost their jobs back into work as quickly as possible. It was also the occasion to discuss how coordinated action at European level can best complement actions being taken at national level, and how to make the best use of the tools and resources at European level including the European Social Fund and the European Globalisation Fund.
In a joint press conference held together with Mirek Topolanek, Prime Minister of Czech Republic and President in office of the Council, John Monks, Secretary General of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), and Ernest-Antoine Seillière, President of BusinessEurope, following the summit, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, said: With this employment summit we are telling our citizens that we want their employment to be Europe's objective number one. He added that the EU must succeed on employment because there can be no economic recovery on the foundations of social collapse, just as there can be no social progress in an economic desert, and explained that the employment summit increases strongly the chances of success because it has generated concrete ideas.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press conference room
||SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC (in ENGLISH): EU action on employment neither starts nor stops with today's summit. But this summit is a significant step towards more and better coordinated action on employment.
||Cutaway: the speakers
||SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): With this employment summit we are telling our citizens that we want their employment to be Europe's objective number one. At least on the European Commission point of view this is our first concern in the current crisis – employment. We are aware of the uncertainties and hardships citizens are facing. We came here to address their concerns and to act in our citizens' interest. We all know, we must succeed on employment because there can be no economic recovery on the foundations of social collapse, just as there can be no social progress in an economic desert. The employment summit increases strongly the chances that we will succeed and this summit generated concrete ideas. They can in particular give hope to young people facing the daunting prospect of finding their first job.
||Cutaway: the audience
||SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): I will personally ensure that the voices we have heard today will find their echo at the June European Council. I am confident that all 27 EU leaders will be serious about working together to tackle unemployment and give it a European angle. We owe this to our citizens. Europe is not only an economic and political project, it has always been and will always be a social project as well.
||Cutaway: the speakers
||SOUNDBITE by Mirek Topolanek, Prime Minister of Czech Republic and President in office of the Council (in CZECH): Saying that a crisis is not just a negative impact of the financial crisis on the real economy and people's fates, it is also an opportunity to put through and to have certain measures approved that some people have not held urgent so far; saying that he thinks that in crisis time they can agree together on certain measures that they have been talking about and push them through and he thinks this is a good thing; saying that this does not only go for flexicurity, but for example also for structural reforms which in the future could help limit the impact of the crisis and would contribute to creating new jobs.
||SOUNDBITE by John Monks, Secretary General of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) (in ENGLISH): It is a start for us and we hope that we can together build on it and ensure that the European response is ambitious enough to match the scale of the problem that it is going on. If we are not ambitious enough now I will tell you the cost will succeed in years and will get more and more expensive even though the bills look fairly around this at the moment.
||SOUNDBITE by Ernest-Antoine Seillière, President of BusinessEurope (in ENGLISH): We have on the social aspect underlined the essential part that we believe could play flexicurity, which is a common approach with the trade unions. Also everything that goes and has been said with the skills, maintaining the skills, short time working, mobility... All this with support from the business side and hope that we can implement.
||Cutaway: closing of the press conference (2 shots)