„Commission report on Employment and Social Developments shows stark poverty situation in Europe & need for more social action“

Commenting on today’s presentation of EU Commissioner László Andor´s report on „Employment and Social Developments in Europe in 2012“, Hannes Swoboda, S&D Group President said:

„We welcome this report by Commissioner Andor. It shows the precarious social situation in Europe, especially with regard to the labour market.

„It demonstrates how important it is to reform social benefits and makes it clear that we need to maintain those. This is not only important to counterbalance the deteriorating social situation but also to encourage demand and economic development“.

He stressed the worsened poverty situation in Europe and the need for a debate about minimum wages: „The report also shows the ever greater danger of poverty and our clear task to fight against poverty at all levels.

„It is good news that the report also contains important messages with regard to minimum wages in Europe. A well reflected system of minimum wages at a national level does not threaten jobs but instead reduces the danger of poverty and the costs for social benefits.

„As our Group has clearly indicated for a long time, minimum wages form an important element of economic, social and poverty policy.

He concluded by calling for sufficient financing for the suggested youth guarantee to fight youth unemployment: „The proposals made for a youth guarantee are good although we would have liked to have seen this being introduced at an EU-level.

„However, what is most important is that we ensure sufficient funding for such guarantees to be introduced“.