Hannes Swoboda: „Mr Barroso and Mr Van Rompuy – stop talking about social misery and take action on it!“

At today’s European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg, the president of the S&D Group openly criticised the lack of political action for a socially just Europe. Discussing the outcome of the EU Council with Commission President Barroso and EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Hannes Swoboda made a strong plea for rapid and practical action to get Europe out of recession.
Speaking in plenary, S&D Group President Hannes Swoboda said:
„We have seen some happy faces again after this summit. But this is not enough for us. Instead of discussing a ’super Commissioner for finance‘ as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been doing, we must take robust action.
„François Hollande made a difference and it is due to him and the Socialists and Democrats that we have achieved some agreement on the next steps for a banking union.
„We must act now and make sure that the single supervisory mechanism (SSM) and the European stability mechanism (ESM) become operational as soon as possible. Not in 2015 or in the distant future – no, countries like Spain and Ireland need our help and support now. Therefore, we must make the banking union operational from the first half of 2013.
„The conservatives are pursuing a hypocritical policy by delaying progress instead of ensuring the banks can be recapitalised now.“
He continued by calling for a stronger social element – a social pact – in the Van Rompuy paper:
„We have a fiscal pact and a weak growth pact but we do not have a social pact. Today ever more European countries are falling into recession and unemployment is rising dramatically. We must take action to change this and give Europe a social face.
„The priority must be a social pact with clear measures such as the European Youth Guarantee, decent living wages, a social investment pact, a social protocol and an integrated active employment policy.“
Regarding rising youth unemployment in Europe and a possible reduction in the budget for Erasmus, Hannes Swoboda, said:
„The Erasmus programme is one of the most successful EU programmes. It encourages mobility among students and improves the chances of young people looking for a job. The issue has been put on the agenda of this plenary at our request and we will fight hard for Erasmus to be maintained and kept alive in the future.“