At yesterday’s General Affairs Council, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, who chaired the meeting, secured support of EU Ministers for a renewed EU focus on jobs and growth.
In the meeting with European Council President Van Rompuy, the Tánaiste stressed that “Despite a stabilisation of the markets the situation in the real economy remains very difficult across Europe.”
The Tánaiste concluded that “We agreed on the urgency of a renewed focus on the EU’s competitiveness, growth and jobs agenda at this week’s European Council.”
Tánaiste: “stability must be complemented by a drive for growth and jobs.”
The Irish Presidency has prioritised this agenda since taking over at the beginning of the year. The Presidency is already seeing real achievements including agreements with the Parliament on new economic governance measures in the Two Pack and new capital requirements rules to strengthen banks. Both of these measures will help build stability.
But, the Tánaiste remarked, “stability must be complemented by a drive for growth and jobs.”
The Tánaiste stressed in particular the need to focus on unemployment, especially youth unemployment.
The Tánaiste said “I am very pleased that the Irish Presidency has achieved agreement on the Youth Guarantee, which will give every young person a job or training opportunity to help prepare them for the productive labour force.”
The Tánaiste also stressed the urgent need to accelerate the pace of work in bringing down the remaining barriers in the single market, in areas like public procurement and the recognition of professional qualifications. This is an Irish Presidency priority.