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This proposed new Fund would provide tangible help to Europe's most vulnerable people to overcome the problems they face in their daily lives and to integrate into society. It would demonstrate Europe's solidarity with those who have been worst affected by the crisis. It would also ensure continuity to follow-up the current Food for the Most Deprived programme after more than 20 years of existence.
The Single Market has many achievements but requires constant adaptation. These changes should not lead to abandoning its social pillar. I am convinced that Europe’s greatest asset is its human capital. That is why the social dimension of the Single Market needs to continue to develop on a par with the rest.
Employment and social cohesion have been important areas of the bilateral cooperation between the European Union and Latin America. Our regular dialogue, which has started in 2004 in Guadalajara, shows how much we share and the magnitude of the challenges facing us.
Greater coordination of the European and national levels on employment and social matters has become necessary if we want to further integrate of financial, budgetary and economic policy. We need a stronger social union if we want to have a genuine Economic and Monetary union.
The greening of the economy offers new job opportunities but ensuring that workers have the right skills will be a challenging task. The Commission will ensure that the challenges of the green economy are taken into account in the financial framework of the European Social Fund.
Against the background of the unacceptable record jobless figures, I am pleased that today's Council has endorsed the Commission's April 2012 Employment Package. I also welcome that the Council held a crucial debate on European Governance, its employment and social dimensions and its future.
As the negotiations on the future programming period are set to start, I wish to make the support of social enterprise one of the priorities of the European Social Fund.
The key is to ensure that, as people grow older, they can continue to contribute to the economy and society, and to look after themselves for as long as possible. This is what we call active ageing.