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Commissioner Hahn discusses with citizens in Vienna and Linz on Europe's Day

(07 May 2013)

Commissioner Hahn discusses with citizens in Vienna and Linz on Europe's Day

EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, participated on 6 May in public debates in Vienna and Linz on the occasion of the forthcoming Europe Day (9 May).

In Vienna, the Commissioner stressed that "despite the crisis, European citizens can be proud of the high standards of living and of democracy they are enjoying in Europe".

The Commissioner explained the new concept of Regional Policy as the EU's major investment tool. He pointed out that in the new funding period Regional Policy will pay an even more important contribution to fight unemployment: "50% of the regional policy budget will be invested in support of SME, energy efficiency and innovation. These are exactly the areas which produce sustainably and high quality jobs".  

The Commissioner answered also questions from the audience referring to issues of major concern in Austria such as the bank secrecy and the new rules for the marketing of seeds. In this context, the Commissioner made an appeal to strengthen and improve EU communication at all levels: "Communication on EU policy and EU issues is a common responsibility of all political actors at all levels. If we commit ourselves to this joint obligation, we will be able to reduce the gap between the citizens and the Institutions".

In Linz, Upper Austria, where a a second public debate was organised by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Austrian Federation of Industry, the Commissioner stressed that "Europe Day should be a day of optimism". About the new concept of Regional Policy, he said "Regional Policy is the EU investment policy, tailormade for each region. Upper Austria is a model by investing in innovation and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises".