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Commissioner Hahn attends the Europe Day celebrations in Austria

11/05/2012

On 9th May Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn attended the Europe Day celebrations in Vienna and Graz. Together with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger and Vice-President of the European Parliament Othmar Karas, the Commissioner stressed Europe's role for peace, growth and stability. He pointed, however, also to the challenges ahead: to create sustainable growth and jobs, emphasizing the central role of Regional Policy in this respect.

Commissioner Hahn appealed that Europe Day should be taken as an opportunity to honour the achievements of European Integration. : "We are the most important economic actor in the world. With only 7% of the world's population, Europe represents 20% of all exports and imports. I am delighted that now growth is on the top of the European agenda. But growth doesn't mean we should give up the structural reforms we need to realise. Growth means smart investments with the aim of getting out more than had been paid, i.e. a real added value".

With regard to Austria, the Commissioner stated: "In many fields like the employment rate of youth or professional education, Austria is a best practice example. That's in fact what Europe is about: to learn from each other and to co-operate constructively, despite all differences".