‘In order to take full advantage of global economic growth, European citizens need to be given the skills and competencies they need to compete. These are advanced skills that require specialised educational programmes’
The comment was made by EPP/GERB MEP Eva Maydell in a debate on Europe’s role in a globalised world during a regular session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 16th May 2017.
The continent’s openness to global trade has been hugely advantageous to its citizens. Research by the European Commission shows that every billion euros-worth of exports is responsible for keeping 14,000 Europeans in their jobs. ‘Whether we will remain a global leader depends on whether the Union manages to ride the wave of digital and technological innovation’ warned Ms Maydell after the debate.
She presented a broad outline of the factors necessary for that to happen, including enhancing the workforce’s digital competency, advancing a favourable regulatory framework, stimulating the exchange of data across the EU and acting as an incubator for innovation. ‘Finalising the Digital Single Market (DSM) is something we have to do, now, before we lose our competitive edge’.
The Parliamentary debate provided an opportunity for European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen to present the conclusions of a report on the subject prepared by the EC and introducing a number of considerations, including the redistribution of profits from global trade, easing the pressure on employment in Europe and facilitating economic growth in the developing world. The report is part of a broader debate on the future of the Union that started in March.