Mood changes in Europe in favour of growth and jobs

László Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in the podium. The European Commission organised yesterday in Brussels a Joint press conference on the 2013 country-specific recommendations. José Manuel Barroso urged member states to move quicker and to be bolder on structural reforms that could deliver growth and jobs. (EC Audiovisual Services, 29/5/2013).

László Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in the podium. The European Commission organised yesterday in Brussels a Joint press conference on the 2013 country-specific recommendations. José Manuel Barroso urged member states to move quicker and to be bolder on structural reforms that could deliver growth and jobs. (EC Audiovisual Services, 29/5/2013).

Economics is primarily a social not a mathematical science. Forgetting that may lead mathematicians to create toxic investment products like complicated derivatives, which have no other purpose than to cheat people. This misunderstanding may also lead executives like László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, to talk about ‘labour market’ as if it was an open air Saturday vegetable vendition. It was like that when he delivered a speech last Tuesday entitled, “Building a Single European Labour Market must be part of the EU’s recovery strategy”.

All along the past two years of economic crisis and steeply rising unemployment in southern Eurozone countries, politicians in the north and Brussels bureaucrats kept insisting that the best solution to this problem is that the unemployed young of Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal seek a job in Germany. Andor baptised it ‘creating one EU labour market’. Yet this proposal found only some thousands of followers, while the bulk of the millions of jobless stayed home and start using substances.

Which labour market?

The Commissioner commenced his speech like that, “It is a pleasure to open today’s conference and discuss the final report of the Single European Labour Market project. The paper provides a good overview of the main patterns of labour mobility in Europe throughout the crisis years, and explains clearly the benefits of people’s ability to move across borders”. Draft as many labour market projects as the Commission may, the unemployed don’t seem to bother.

It’s not that the jobless in the south love so much their country and they cannot live elsewhere in the Union. Take for example a Greek unemployed couple in their forties with two children. How possible is it to them to go to Germany and look for a job? True young Greek medics and Spanish engineers are already working in Germany. However this doesn’t solve the bulk of the problem. It’s impossible to employ today the practices of the 1950s, when Greek and Italian workers were transported to Germany in ‘special’ trains, to help this country become the ‘miracle economy’.

South Eurozone societies are not that desperate and impoverished as in the 1950s and can guarantee a subsistence living to their young. Southern societies are ready to accept a deep reduction in living standards in order to avoid the Germanic adventure. On top of that those already in the north tell their kin and friends back to Athens, Rome and Madrid, that life and incomes in Munich are not rosy at all.

The good Commissioner said that “The European Commission is a strong supporter of greater labour mobility. The notion of a genuine European labour market is one of the cornerstones of our 2012 Employment Package, which set out a medium-term agenda for how the EU and the individual Member States should support a job-rich recovery from the ongoing crisis”. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to understand today’s social realities in the south as described here.

However in view of the irrelevance of the labour mobility theorising in solving the unemployment problem of Eurozone’s periphery, the European decision makers have now changed their attitude without telling Andor about it. Only yesterday in Paris, the Franco-German conference on growth and employment came out with a major ‘new deal’ plan to address the dead ends of the labour market. The new plan in called “the European Initiative for growth and jobs”, and will be financed primarily with EU money.

Today the German Chancellor Angela Merkel goes to Paris to meet the French President Francois Hollande for the same reason; to make Eurozone grow and offer more jobs. In this meeting Germany will be once more in the defendant’s bench, apologising about austerity at home and all over Europe. The European Central Bank is also accusing Germany for doing almost nothing to support growth.

There are more indications that something is changing in Europe. EU Council President, Herman Van Rompuy addressed this week a letter to the 27 EU leaders ahead of their June summit. He tells them that in “preserving financial stability, where we are on the right track” and then stresses “In June, I would like to put the fight against unemployment high on our agenda”. It’s not by chance that today everybody in Brussels is talking about growth and jobs. The very European project is at stake in this front, with social and political risks on the rise.

Of course the labour market problems will not be addressed with letters from Rompuy. This is an indication however that the mood has changed and today the financial crisis is not the No 1 issue. Not to forget that we are facing a deeply social problem here and healing takes time.

We are not yet on it but at least we are before it.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

CDNIFY @ TheNextWeb 2014

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

Refugee crisis update: Commission is struggling alone with little help from EU or G7 leaders

This is how people in Europe are helping lead the energy charge

Quality Internships: Towards a Toolkit for Employers

Malta and Slovakia: serious shortcomings in the rule of law

This robot has soft hands. It could be the future of sustainable production

Love unlimited

Banking package: Parliament and Council reach an agreement

Defence: European Commission paves the way for first joint industrial projects under EU budget

The anti-vaccine movement shows the peril of a post-truth world

Everything you need to know about water

Reform of road use charges to spur cleaner transport and ensure fairness

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

It’s time to fulfil the promises made to women 25 years ago

JADE Spring Meeting 2016 highlights

The JADE Spring Meeting is about to begin

European Youth Event 2016 – bridge between youth and policy makers

Contact the Sting

China in My Suburbs

World Population Day: ‘A matter of human rights’ says UN

Cybersecurity needs a holistic approach. Here are three ways to build protection

A Sting Exclusive: “Junior Enterprises themselves carry out projects focusing on the environment”, JADE President Daniela Runchi highlights from Brussels

European Commission reacts to the US restrictions on steel and aluminium affecting the EU

Turkey presents a new strategy for EU accession but foreign policy could be the lucky card

Why carbon capture could be the game-changer the world needs

How telehealth can get healthcare to more people

Two days left until General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), lots of newsletter opt-outs but does the EU citizen really know?

Can the world take the risk of a new financial armageddon so that IMF doesn’t lose face towards Tsipras?

From glass ceiling to glass cliff: women are not a leadership quick-fix

MEPs vote to limit negative impact of no-deal Brexit on citizens

How tomorrow’s buildings will make you – and the planet – healthier

Mainland Europe adopts Germanic cartel business patterns

UN nuclear watchdog will help verify DPRK nuclear programme, if agreement forthcoming

FROM THE FIELD: How the smell of fresh bread transformed one refugee life

Economic sentiment and business climate stagnate in miserable euro area

The EU Commission lets money market funds continue the unholy game of banks

The power of digital tools to transform mental healthcare

“The Belt and Road Initiative should be mutually beneficial for EU and China and every participating country”, Vice-President Papadimoulis of the European Parliament underscores from European Business Summit 2018

EU unveils plan to accelerate Capital Markets Union ahead of London’s departure from the bloc

Drugs cost too much. There is a better way to fund medical innovation

Make progress or risk redundancy, UN chief warns world disarmament body

Is there a way out of the next financial crisis? Can more printed money or austerity save us all?

Here’s what a Korean boy band can teach us about globalization 4.0

Blockchain can change the face of renewable energy in Africa. Here’s how

From inconvenience to opportunity: the importance of international medical exchanges

Promoting rule of law and fundamental rights in the EU

How can we regulate disruptive technologies?

Parliament backs a modernised EU electoral law

Supercomputing could solve the world’s problems, and create many more

Globally, youth are the largest poverty-stricken group, says new UN report

Risks rising in corporate debt market

Amazon indigenous groups want to create a nature sanctuary the size of Mexico

Unlock the value proposition for Connected Insurance

Managing and resolving conflicts in a politically inclined group of team members

EU budget: Stepping up the EU’s role as a security and defence provider

Mali: UN chief calls for calm as clashes leave over 20 dead in Mopti

Is Erdogan losing game and match within and without Turkey?

The Council unblocks all EU budgets

Italy’s revised budget remains roughly unchanged waiting for Europe’s fury

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s