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Written Answers. - European Commission's Job Initiative.

Wednesday, 28 February 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 462 No. 3

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[744]

 24. Mr. Cullen Information on Martin Cullen Zoom on Martin Cullen  asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton  whether a date has been set for a meeting between himself and the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jacques Santer, during Mr. Santer's forthcoming tour of European capitals and proposed meetings with heads of Government to discuss the Commission's new initiative on job creation; the proposals, if any, the Government has in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2765/96]

Minister for Enterprise and Employment (Mr. R. Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Commission President, in the course of addressing the European Parliament on 31 January, spoke of inviting “all the Union's political, economic and social forces... to unite in concluding a European Confidence Pack on Employment”. The indications from his speech are that he is seeking a reinvigoration of commitment towards the range of policies already mapped out, including the single currency process, the development of trans-European networks, more research, a strengthened commitment to the development of SME's, and enhanced labour market structural policies. I certainly welcome this initiative from the Commission President with particular reference to its emphasis on the role and importance of small and medium size enterprises, research and local employment initiatives.

While the focus of the President's initiative is clearly a confidence boosting one, the specifics of what may be intended have not yet emerged. However, I welcome the President's declared intention to undertake a tour of capitals in order to tackle with Heads of State and Government the practical means of achieving true synergy of initiatives taken separately in member states to promote employment and reduce unemployment. In that regard I would point out that it is normal Protocol that meetings with the Commission President would take place at Prime Ministerial level.


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