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28 February 2013 / EN

CREATING EUROPEAN REGIONAL ENTREPRENEURIAL ENVIRONMENT The role of entrepreneurship and youth employment at the core of the regional development

Declaration of the European People's Party Group in the Committee of the Regions

The European People’s Party Group in the Committee of the Regions:

  1. Stresses that Stability, Growth and Jobs lay at the core of the Irish Presidency of the European Council and supports the latter to its efforts towards sustainable recovery from the crisis that affects many Member States;
  2. Welcomes the decision of the European Council of 7-8 February 2013 to create a “Youth Employment Initiative” being supported by 6 billion Euros during 2014-2020, as one important instrument to tackle the difficult situation of young people in certain regions;
  3. Welcomes the European Commission’s Youth Employment Package and in particular its Recommendation to Member States on introducing the Youth Guarantee; stresses the importance of linking the Youth Guarantee schemes with youth mobility between Member States and an enhanced role for the Youth on the Move flagship initiative and regional and local authorities in this respect;
  4. Calls for support to the Members States currently under budgetary constraints, where unemployment levels are particularly high, in order to implement the Youth Guarantee provisions in an efficient manner;
  5. Recalls the European Commission’s proposals as expressed in the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan, which should be a way out of unemployment for young Europeans; stresses that local and regional authorities should be fully involved in the design and implementation of the actions proposed under the three pillars;
  6. Believes that the Social Market Economy model, based on the EPP core values of subsidiarity and solidarity, can be the method to tackle the crisis, and first and foremost its negative impact on economic development and youth employment.

    As regard to the role of enterprises for growth and job creation in the EU:
  7. Reminds that enterprises are fundamental contributors to growth and employment; in order to achieve the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy, both competitiveness and innovation must be at centre stage, encouraged and promoted at the regional and local level;
  8. Highlights the need to support with measures areas that can innovate and create quality jobs such as the digital market and financial services;
  9. Reminds that despite the crisis the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have retained their position as dynamic actors in the European economy, accounting for more than 98% of all enterprises where 90 million people are employed, while providing high rates of investment in innovation;
  10. Strongly believes that innovative start-ups represent a key resource in which to invest in coming years in order to sustain growth, generate quality jobs and opportunities for everyone, and make people aware on what can be concretely achieved in their cities and regions;
  11. Calls for an urgent smart regulation on the European stage to support European business, and in particular the SMEs and micro- enterprises;
  12. Is convinced that new innovative enterprises should be perceived as bridges between universities and major industries, traditional knowledge and technology, talented young people and experienced managers, local and regional governments and international investors; calls therefore for further public-private partnerships to make these synergies more effective, horizontal and indissoluble;
  13. Underlines the need for European enterprises to be confronted with the challenges of globalization; insists, therefore, on the importance of investing on the creation of strong regional clusters to facilitate the exchange of know-how and best practices while guaranteeing the unique high quality of the European production;
  14.  Supports a reformed Single Market, one where there is willingness and commitment at political level. Legislative and administrative cultures must be taken into account right from the start of preparatory work on single market legislation, in order to ensure effective implementation;

    As regard to youth employment: 
  15. Highlights that one in four young people in the labour market is not able to find a job, very often remain a long term unemployed, therefore calls on Local and Regional authorities to set up work centres that would offer professional advice and trainings to young people to better integrate into changing labour markets;
  16. Promotes the idea of more labour mobility for young workers, convinced that mobility can offer more employment opportunities. However reminds the dangerous effect of Social Dumping, and calls for fair competition and well-balanced treatment of all the workers as one of the key building-blocks for a sustainable European Single Labour Market in all sectors;
  17. Welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for a “Rethinking Education” strategy aiming at a better alignment of the education to the needs of students and to the labour market. Highlights therefore the importance of ensuring an incisive framework for high-quality traineeship and apprenticeship at local, regional and national levels, in order to fill the gaps linked to the complex school-to-work transition;
  18. Encourages young people in education to think about becoming entrepreneurs in the future and invest in their talent and creativity. This can foster the ambitious self-employment culture based on the values of responsibility, aspiration for better life conditions and re-inventing themselves;