Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday 17th April in the European Committee debate on the European Commission Work Programme for 2012 Mike Gapes MP said “I shall comment briefly on the overall thrust of the Commission’s document, which actually disappoints me. It claims to be about doing everything in its power to address the economic crisis weighing so heavily on Europeans today. However, the proposals are limited and inadequate to meet the challenges of rising mass unemployment—particularly youth unemployment—in Europe. I believe that this is a missed opportunity for the agenda that we really need, which needs to be far more fundamental and radical.
The Commission talks about global economic challenges and competitiveness, but we will not succeed as Europeans by having more and more policies of austerity and driving down the prosperity of the people of Europe. We need a new approach, rather than this cautious conservative model that comes from the right-wing Governments who dominate Europe, not just this country but many others. I look forward to a democratic change in France and elsewhere that may lead to a new agenda: a positive agenda for jobs and employment, particularly of our young people.”