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EXCLUSIVE Interview given by the President of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. HANS-GERT PÖTTERING’s message for a united Europe: ”Together we are strong. Unity in diversity!”

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Robert LUPIŢU

2014-07-07 18.29.40

Former member of the European Parliament since the very first elections in 1979 and until 2014, president of this institution from the EPP between 2007 and 2009 and President of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Mr. Hans-Gert Pöttering was invited by the Romanian branch of KAS to take part at a series of academic events. On this occasion, Mr. Pöttering, a truly European personality through his impressive professional activity gave an exclusive interview to Calea Europeană.

Among the topics discussed during our dialogue, Mr. Pöttering spoke about the European construction evolution, the European ideals, the changes undergone by the European Parliament, the adjustment of the former European Community against the communist threat and the development of the European Union after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Also, the former chairman of the European Parliament expressed his opinion regarding Ukraine`s, Moldavia`s and Georgia`s associations to the European Union, EU attitude towards Russia and its relation with the United States.

VIDEO INTERVIEW:

“Our values: dignity of the human being, liberty, democracy and legal order have prevailed”

Robert Lupițu (R.L.): Good afternoon, Mr. Pöttering. First, I would like to thank you for granting this interview for CaleaEuropeană, our multimedia portal dedicated to European Affairs and EU policies. You are one of the most experienced politicians in Europe with a substantial background in the EU history, former EP President and member of this institution since the first open elections in 1979 and until 2014. The main vision of EU founding fathers included peace, security, prosperity and unity between states, but after decades of evolution and integration and after the fall of the Iron Curtain and EU`s enlargement, the European construction seems to be at a crossroad and many people and politicians are oscillating between euro-skepticism and euro-optimism:

From your point of view as a man inside the EU development for 35 years, how would you describe this process of evolutions? Do you think we might have lost the European ideal?

Hans-Gert Pöttering (H.G.P.): Thank you very much, first, Robert for this very kind introduction how you described my person and I`m very happy to have this interview with you. I think we have all reason to be optimistic. I have seen so many critical situations in the development of the European Union or, before the EU, the European Community. So, I think we should see the development of Europe, which is, of course, not without challenges and problems in a long term. You rightly mentioned and I thank you for this, that the European Parliament was elected in 1979. If we look back to that time, how did look Europe like? My own country, Germany, was divided. There was a wall dividing in what is now the capital of Germany, Berlin and if you wanted to go from the east to the west, you would have been killed. There were nations which are now part of the European Union, occupied by the Soviet Union, like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the Baltic countries. And your country, Romania, like Poland and many others country were part of the Warsaw Pact and the communist totalitarian world. Now, our values prevailed, succeeded. That means the dignity of the human being, freedom, democracy, legal order, which is very important and peace. And we are united, hopefully, by solidarity. So, if we see this development through the 80s and 90s, then I think we have all reason to be optimistic, because communism fell like national-socialism in 1945. And now coming to the present time, of course there are critical situations: we have the financial crisis, the banking crisis, in some countries we have big economic problems, unemployment of the young generation and I think we have to do our utmost to solve these problems. If we have a will, we will succeed and I`ve seen very often the situation that for instance, with the Constitutional Treaty, which now is more or less the Lisbon Treaty who came into force in the 1st of December 2009. When it failed, in May 2005 in France and early June 2005 in the Netherlands, there where many politicians that said: „Now the treaty is dead”. I had a different opinion because I`ve learned what Konrad Adenauer, the founder and the person who gave his name to our foundation said: „If most of the politicians think you can not solve a problem anymore, than the real work starts”. That is why I am optimistic, but it needs strong hardwork, it needs courage and it needs strong will to solve the challenges which we are facing and each generation is facing.

“We need that spirit of unity back”

R.L.: Thank you. In 1979 were held the first elections of the EP. On May 25 we elected a new European Parliament. This year the main campaign topics were unemployment, euro-crisis, energy and extremism. How was it in 1979 or in the 80s or 90s?

H.G.P.: It was a little bit different. I think the campaign now, in 2014 was a little bit different from country to country. But, you described rightly the main topics of the election campaign. In 1979 we had the very first elections and there was a lot of optimism and the people thought we need Europe, we need the European Community, which is now the European Union. We needed a strong Europe because the communist world was challenging the West and we were threatened by the possibility of a nuclear war. People had a feeling that we need to stay together in the Western Europe and so there was a great optimism for the future development of the European Community, which is now the European Union and I think we need this positive spirit back for Europe and I would like to see the people of the European Union being more optimistic, because if you look around the world, if you look to Russia, to China, to many parts of Africa or even to the United States, we, the European Union are not a paradise, but we are a better part of the world. We taught to be a little more self confident and after combining this attitude with modesty, I think we have all the possibilities to solve our challenges.

“The fall of the Iron Curtain was due to people, not politicians. We could not foresee Europe`s future development, but we helped in this direction”

R.L.: I understand. Going back in time, in 1989: revolutions against communism in Eastern Europe and the fall of the Iron Curtain, two years later the collapse of the Soviet Union. Was the European Community ready to enhance and promote its values? Did you foreseen that after 25 years EU will be the largest integration project?

H.G.P.: I`m not sure I totally understood your question.

R.L.: In 1989, when you saw the fall of the Iron Curtain and the revolutions in Eastern Europe, did you expected that in 25 years Europe will be where is it right now?

H.G.P.: I thought you meant whether we did foresee the fall of the wall, but nobody foresaw it. We should say this… This was due not to the politicians, it was due to the people and we have to thank the people that they stood up for liberty, for democracy and the legal order, which mainly started in Poland with Solidarnosc and finally in Romania and other countries as well. So we have to thank the people and then there were the states-man who organized the peaceful development. But this was not your question. Coming back to it, from 1989 to 2014, we could not foresee how Europe will develop, but we did everything that developed in this direction. I was as vice-chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament from 1994 to 1999 responsible for the questions of enlargement. For instance, the first project was to have only Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia to have the negotiation process for enlargement. We insisted in the working group which I chaired to include other countries. It concerned mainly Latvia and Lithuania and we insisted that they got a chance to be in the first round as well Estonia. They worked hard so they could become members of the European Union in the 1st of May 2004 together with Estonia and Poland and Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. So, we did something, but we could not foresee how Europe developed but I think the European Union was done its utmost to support its development to bring the former communist countries like Romania and Bulgaria nearer to the European Institutions, to the European Union and if take everything together we were very successful. It`s really a success story.

“Creating jobs is one of our most challenges, and we are unique in the world for respecting the human dignity”

R.L.: Thank you and I believe that, too. What are the main differences and how do you feel EU citizens perception regarding the European construction then, in 1979 or in the 80s and now? Do you feel the growth of a material view among people? I mean, they do not believe anymore in ideal. They are thinking only on the problem of unemployment.

H.G.P.: I think we have to do both. We have to tell the people our values and I have spoken about values and the main value, the human dignity. This is unique in the world, that we believe in the dignity of the human being and if you accept this as our main principle, then it has consequences for all of the areas of politics and also it is not acceptable that we have so many young people without work and without the perspective for the future and so we have to do everything to give good education to the people and then to promote the economic development. This means we have to give loans to the small and medium enterprises and so they can use this money to invest it and build new jobs. I think this is one of the great challenges, but there were other challenges as well, if you look to the foreign policy, Ukraine, the aggression of Russia vis-a-vis Ukraine, but you did not ask this question so far so I will not speak about that.

“What Russia does is an aggression against Ukraine. We do not live anymore in the 19th Century, we live in the 21stCentury”

R.L.: Actually, it is the next one. Since Vilnius, the EU has an outbreak of a conflict in its Eastern neighborhood. Also, there are many voices that say that the EU can`t play hardball in foreign policy because of its desire to use soft and multi-lateral approach. Despite all of this, last month, Georgia, Republic of  Moldova and Ukraine signed the Association Agreement. Everyone is thinking at this like a very big success in the ex-Soviet space. Do you think the EU is prepared to spread successfully its peaceful and democratic ideals and to carry on a diplomatic and economic dispute with Russia?

H.G.P.: This is a great bouquet of problems and challenges you are raising, Robert. First of all I think is good that we as European Union tried to develop united foreign, security and defense policy. That we tried. When I was elected in the European Parliament in 1979, nobody dare to speak about these questions in the framework of the European Community. I was for ten years chairman for the Subcommittee Security and Disarmament from 1984 to 1994 and we develop the idea that we should speak about every aspect of security, including the military aspects. You said the European Union is good in the software of foreign policy but not so much in the hardware and we need everything to have a strong European voice and we still have to work hard on that. As far as Ukraine is concerned we have to be very clear: there is an aggression of Russia vis-a-vis Ukraine. Russia broke the international law taking Crimea out of Ukraine. And, still in 1994, Russia agreed that the island of Crimea is part of Ukraine because Ukraine gave its nuclear weapons to Russia. And so, Russia can not behave like this and what happens now in the east of Ukraine, there is certainly a connection between those people who are using force and Moscow. This has to stop and the European Union should act, and so far it did, together to tell president Putin he can not go on like this and we should find a peaceful solution and support our friends in Kiev, but they need a new Constitution as well. They need to get guarantees to the identity of the Russian population in Ukraine. So, this is our principle: the majority can not do everything that they want. The majority counts, but you have to respect the minority as well, the culture identity and so on. As far as Moldavia and Georgia is concerned, is their decision what political orientation they want to take and they asked the European Union, like Ukraine. And if they want this, Russia has not the right to say no. We are not living in the 19th Century anymore, we are living in the 21st Century and democracy, liberty and the rule of law is the basis of this.

“If we make mistakes, if the Americans make mistakes, we have the right to criticise each other”

R.L.: I understand, thank you. As a former member of the EP delegation with the United States and former member of the Foreign Affairs, Common Security and Defense Policy Commission do you think that the EU is affected by the US last years rotation to Asia-Pacific? Do you sense that within the EU-US relations may be room for improvement?

H.G.P.: There is always room for improvement in bilateral relations between countries, but I don’t see so far that this happens, what you have said in your question, Robert, that U.S. are more oriented to the Pacific or to Asia. I don’t see this so far, if you look to the relations between United States and China, for instance, it is very diverse. I think President Obama and the Americans have realized, with the crisis in Ukraine, that they can not forget Europe and I think we have to teach the world what great advantages it is to have the European Union within the European Union. We are living peacefully together, we decide by majority voting, mainly, in the European Council, in the Council of Ministers and in the European Parliament. This is a revolution, if you look back to the past of Europe. But the European Union is not the whole Europe, and to Europe belong Ukraine and Belarus and other countries as well. We should tell the world how good it is with all the difficulties we have in the European Union. I am very much in favor of a strong alliance between the EU and USA and if they make mistakes, if we make mistakes, we have the right to criticize the other partner or friend. What the Americans do with the National Security Agency is incredibly wrong and we have to criticize them but given all those challenges I say we need the U.S. as a strong partner and I, as a German say, there was no doubt: there was no government supporting so much the German unification like President Bush (the father) did, and I say it in this context, because you asked about the relations with the United States, George Bush the father was always supportive of the German unification.

“In 1979 the EP had zero legislative power. Now it is co-decisioner together with the Council”

R.L.: Mr. Pöttering, as a former president of the European Parliament  what can you tell us about the progress made by this institution and how will the elections outcome in France and UK for example will affect its activity?

H.G.P.: Europe is a long process and the development of the European Parliament is a process, as well. When I was elected for the first to the EP, in 1979, the EP had zero legislative power and my party friends asked me „why do you want to be a member of the European Parliament in Brussels? You have nothing to say”. And my answer to those friends was: we make the European Union, at that time the European Community, and the European Parliament strong. And so it was a development to make the European Parliament strong, we had the so called Single European Act in the 80s, that was a first step as a treaty to improve the power of the EP. And also the Treaty of Maastricht, which was not only the basis for the EU, it was a breakthrough for the EP to get co-decision power in the legislative process. And then we have the treaty of Amsterdam, the treaty of Lisbon was also a success. Then, we discussed the Constitutional treaty, that unfortunately failed, and then we had the Lisbon treaty and it was a extraordinary development. If I would have been asked in 1979 „do you think you will be so far in the EP in 2014” as we are now, if it would have been predicted at that time, I would have said „wishful thinking”, but we are there. We are very strong concerning the building of the European Commission and of course, politically, the events in some countries, the nationalism, the euro-skepticism are an enormous challenge for us, we have to give the right answers. And my answer is that, in some areas we should have less bureaucracy, less administration, but we need more Europe in those fields where we have to cooperate for the internal market, a strong European currency, and to develop a strong European Union foreign and defense security policy.

“We need a new generation of politicians who believe in the ideals that my generation did and does”

R.L.: As a conclusion for our discussion, how do you see EU`s future in the next decade? Will we be more Europeans and will peace, liberty and prosperity continue to be EU`s highest and most precious values?

H.G.P.: This is my great hope. But it needs engagement and it needs a new generation of politicians who have the same ideals as my generation had and still has. And we have to understand that the European Union is very unique, we are a very unique community, we are here now, in Bucharest, you are from Romania, you have your regions, you have your nations and we are  Europeans, by our national citizenship we are citizens of the European Union. This means we have different identities and we don’t want everything to be regulated from Brussels, we have to defend our identity where we are at home and what we can get done in Bucharest or our villages should not be done by other country or the EU, but only those matters which need a national or a EU-wide answer should be discussed in Brussels, as far as legislation is concerned. We need this understanding of the unity in diversity, I think this is very important and if we believe in our ideals, then we’ll be successful, and our ideals: the dignity of the human being, human rights, the freedom, democracy, peace, deserve that we work hard to have a good future for the European continent and make our European contribution for a good development of our world in the 21st century.

“Together we are strong. Unity in diversity”

R.L.: Like Jean Monnet said: we do not bring together states but we want to unite people.

H.G.P.: Yes, I agree and he said as well “nothing is possible without the human beings, nothing is durable without institutions” and that’s why it is important to have strong European institutions which respect the identity of the nations at a local level. Together we are strong. Unity in diversity.

R.L.: Thank you very much mr. Pöttering, for this pleasant conversation for CaleaEuropeana „und wir wünschen Ihnen einen schönen Besuch in Rümanien”.

H.G.P.: I thank you very much, Robert. It was very nice answering your intelligent questions and I don`t know whether my answers were as intelligent as your questions, but I hope I did what you expected. Thank you.

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Robert Lupițu este redactor-șef, specialist în relații internaționale, jurnalist în afaceri europene și doctorand în domeniul reasigurării strategice a NATO. Robert este laureat al concursului ”Reporter și Blogger European” la categoria Editorial și co-autor al volumelor ”România transatlantică” și ”100 de pași pentru o cetățenie europeană activă”. Face parte din Global Shapers Community, o inițiativă World Economic Forum, și este Young Strategic Leader în cadrul inițiativelor The Aspen Institute. Din 2019, Robert este parte a programului #TT27 Leadership Academy organizat de European Political Strategy Center, think tank-ul Comisiei Europene.

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A4E CEOs lay out priorities in first meeting with Adina Vălean, EU Transport Commissioner, ahead of Green Deal strategy publication

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In their first meeting with new EU Transport Commissioner Adina-Iona Vălean, A4E CEOs laid out their most pressing priorities for the new Commission mandate, according to a press release sent to CaleaEuropeană.ro.

Those priorities include: close collaboration with industry on climate change goals; incentives and investments for sustainability investments instead of new taxes on aviation; urgent reform of Europe’s outdated air traffic management system and completion of the Single European Sky initiative, which would reduce Europe’s carbon emissions by 10 per cent; urgent revision of Regulation 261 on Air Passenger Rights.

In order to best contribute to the European Commission’s upcoming Green Deal strategy, A4E and other airlines have joined forces with Europe’s airports, manufacturers and air navigation service providers in the development of a cross-sector climate initiative. Run as an independent study, this sustainable aviation roadmap for Europe will identify opportunities for even greater industry decarbonisation, whether through technology, operations, sustainable aviation fuels or price incentives by 2030 and/or by 2050.

“The new European Commission has begun its work at a time of enormous challenges, but also tremendous opportunities for both the EU and its aviation industry. A4E airlines stand behind Europe’s ambition to move towards a zero or low-carbon economy. Europe’s airlines take these goals very seriously and we are investing billions to more than contribute our share. We also know that this is an industry challenge which requires an industry solution, and we believe our sustainability roadmap will show us where we can do even more”, said Michael O’Leary, A4E Chairman.

Europe’s airlines have already reduced their fuel consumption per passenger kilometer by 24% over the last 30 years by flying more fuel-efficient aircraft, and by making their overall operations more efficient. A4E airlines are currently investing €170 billion through 2030 to operate the most fuel-efficient, next generation aircraft.

The right combination of policies, incentives and investments at both the European and national levels will ultimately best support the aviation industry’s decarbonization efforts. Sustainable aviation fuels, for example, have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80%.

“It is critical that industry works in close partnership with the EU institutions if we are to be successful in fulfilling Europe’s climate ambitions — whether it be on a dedicated policy for increased sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production at an economically affordable price, or by implementing the Single European Sky, which would save 10% in CO2 emissions. Aviation taxes do nothing for the environment. On the contrary, they limit airlines’ ability to invest in new aircraft, innovation and sustainable fuels”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines for Europe (A4E).

Since 2012, European airlines have been paying for their carbon emissions through the EU carbon trading scheme. From 2021, they will also be part of the UN global offsetting mechanism named CORSIA, which will reduce aviation emissions by 2.5 billion tonnes between 2020 and 2035 through €36 billion ($40 billion) investment in carbon reduction projects1.

“We are also very proud to welcome TUI — the world’s largest tourism group, into the A4E family at this crucial time for our industry. TUI will strengthen A4E’s joint advocacy efforts in a number of key areas – including sustainability, where they will serve as a vital, in-house link between airline and sustainable tourism policy goals”, O’Leary added.

“We are looking forward to working with A4E on the very important policy issues that all airlines and tourism partners in Europe face. At TUI we have thousands of employees working in holiday destinations across Southern Europe and around the world and see each day the positive impact that the travel industry has on jobs and growth in these tourism-dependent regions. Together, we need to do our utmost to support healthy, sustainable and environmentally responsible growth for our industry which connects so many people and cultures. This should be supported by European policy makers so that rather than inventing new or additional taxes we allow this money to be invested in innovative and sustainable technologies”, said Kenton Jarvis, CEO TUI Aviation.

Launched in 2016, Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s largest airline association, based in Brussels. The organisation advocates on behalf of its members to help shape EU aviation policy to the benefit of consumers, ensuring a continued safe and competitive air transport market. With more than 720 million passengers carried each year, A4E members account for more than 70 per cent of the continent’s journeys, operating more than 3,000 aircraft and generating more than EUR 130 billion in annual turnover. Members with air cargo and mail activities transport more than 5 million tons of goods each year to more than 360 destinations either by freighters or passenger aircraft. Current members include Aegean, airBaltic, Air France-KLM, Cargolux, easyJet, Finnair, Icelandair, International Airlines Group (IAG), Jet2.com, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair, Smartwings, TAP Air Portugal, TUI and Volotea. In 2019, A4E was named “Airline & Aviation Business Development Organisation of the Year” by International Transport News.

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#EPPLocalDialogue: ”From Brain drain to Brain gain” – hosted by Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca. What are the key issues and future solutions for the young generations

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© EPP CoR- Twitter

Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca and member of the European Committee of the Regions, hosted in Brussels the debate ”From Brain drain to Brain gain”.

This EPP Local Dialogue looked into what the EU can do for its citizens to transform ‘brain drain’ into a ‘brain gain’ – an opportunity for both the receiving communities and the places of origin.

During the debate the audience has exhanged views with Dubravka Šuica, (EPP/HR), Commissioner-designate responsible for Democracy and Demography will also atend the event, Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw, EPP CoR Member Esther de Lange, (EPP/NL), Member of the European Parliament, Vice-president of the EPP Group, Isabel Benjumea Benjumea, Member of the European Parliament, REGI Vice-Chair

First Part

Second Part

The debate was moderated by Dan Carbunaru Calea Europeana.

This event has been broadcasted LIVE on CaleaEuropeană.ro and on Calea Europeană Facebook Page on December 5th.

 

Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca – Brain drain is becoming more and more important for the European Union

© Calea Europeană


© EPP CoR- Twitter

 

Brain drain is becoming more and more important for the European Union and if we are not going to discuss to tackle and to find common solutions together, these brain drain can affect, even the future of the European project. There is no magical solutions. We have to work together and everyone has to do their own job first. Working in partnership with European Union, we have the best content in order to tackle the brain drain problem. 

In his presentation, Emil Boc referred to Cluj-Napoca, ”the most friendly city in Europe with foreign citizens” that tries to improve the quality of life day by day.

 


Dubravka Šuica,  Commissioner-designate responsible for Democracy and Demography – ”brain drain” is one of the key issues that I intend to focus on in the next five years

© Calea Europeană


© EPP CoR – Twitter

 

”As the commissioner in charge of demography, brain drain is one of the key issues that I intend to focus on in the next five years. Brain drain phenomenon, really can pause the European Union. We have to think about measures which we can put in place to retain attract or regain a highly educated workforce, because local authorities are the ones most affected with the consequences of the brain drain. In order to tackle the ”brain drain”, we need tailor-made solutions to attract, and retain the workforce and reduce disparities across the EU. Cohesion funds play a crucial role in supporting regions to cope with #braindrain and creating social & economic stability for the citizens.”

 


 

Esther de Lange, (EPP/NL), Member of the European Parliament, Vice-president of the EPP Group – We need to focus on providing a good quality of life as a reason to return

© Calea Europeana


© Esther de Lange – Twitter

 

”We are focusing very much now on the issue of brain drain and brain gain between countries within the EU, but of course there’s an underlying challenge that we have as an EU as a whole. I think it’s so incredibly important that not only we have a vice president thatis dealing with demography, and democracy in the link between the two. We need to focus on providing a good quality of life as a reason to return, concept of smart villages – based on the right infrastructure, telemedicine, 5G – can help keep people in our rural areas.”

 


 

Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw – Brain drain, one of the biggest nightmares that we have to confront 

© Calea Europeana

 


”Brain drain sounds dramatic and  sounds like one of the biggest nightmares that we have to confront. When you look at the brain drain and the people who emigrate in the past two years to Britain they are highly qualified and of course, we’ve heard about doctors, nurses, and so on. We all do have these problems, but to be absolutely honest with you, the problem is also internal.”

© EPP CoR-Twitter

 

How to deal brain drain?

”Obviously focusing on the things which are most important for the people, which is, most of all, the infrastructure and the quality of life, because that’s what the people expect right now.”


 

 

Isabel Benjumea Benjumea, Member of the European Parliament, REGI Vice-Chair – Competition between countries and regions is natural. More focus on brain gain

© Calea Europeana


“Competition between countries and regions is natural; people moving around Europe can make our Union stronger and more united. I’m afraid I’m going to be the only one that I don’t see this as a dramatic situation. I know that cities have to compete, and I know that regions have to compete.  It has always happened in order to go to the cities where you have more opportunities where you can have a better quality of life.

© EPP CoR- Twitter

Of course people always look for the best, and it’s good that cities and member states and regions to compete among themselves to see which is more attractive, and I think that’s something good. We need to be an open European Union to keep the best people living in different places. So, I truly believe we’re looking at from the wrong perspective.”


 

 

Brain drain – the loss of an educated and skilled workforce – is a challenge affecting local communities and regions, but also member states and the European Union as a whole.

In 2017, approximately 4.2 million EU citizens aged between 15 and 64 with a tertiary education were residing in an EU country other than their country of citizenship. Every citizen is concerned: from the worker in constructions to researchers who are able to move within the EU. 

EPP Local Dialogues are a series of events organised across Europe, bringing citizens and EPP leaders together to discuss European policies of local interest and gathering people’s expectations on the ground.

Also on CaleaEuropeană.ro: Opinion in SEDEC Commission on “Brain drain in the EU: addressing the challenge at all levels”, presented by Emil Boc, was unanimous adopted

 

 

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”From Brain drain to Brain gain” – #EPPLocalDialogue in Brussels will be hosted by Emil Boc Mayor of Cluj-Napoca on Thursday, 5 December

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© EPP Group CoR/ Twitter

Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca and a member of the European Committee of the Regions, will host in Brussels the debate ”From Brain drain to Brain gain”.

Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca (EPP/RO) is also the CoR rapporteur on Brain drain in the EU: addressing the challenge at all levels

Esther de Lange, (EPP/NL), Member of the European Parliament, Vice-president of the EPP Group and Dubravka Šuica, (EPP/HR), Commissioner-designate responsible for Democracy and Demography will also atend the event.

Open debate with the audience will be moderated by Dan Carbunaru Calea Europeana.

This event will be broadcasted LIVE on CaleaEuropeană.ro and on Calea Europeană Facebook Page on December 5th  starting at 16h30.

© epp.cor.europa.eu

Brain drain – the loss of an educated and skilled workforce – is a challenge affecting local communities and regions, but also member states and the European Union as a whole. In 2017, approximately 4.2 million EU citizens aged between 15 and 64 with a tertiary education were residing in an EU country other than their country of citizenship. Every citizen is concerned: from the worker in constructions to researchers who are able to move within the EU. However, they should do this because they want it, and not because they are pushed by poverty, limited working opportunities or a lack of possibilities to express their talents.

This EPP Local Dialogue will look into what the EU can do for its citizens to transform ‘brain drain’ into a ‘brain gain’ – an opportunity for both the receiving communities and the places of origin.

Participants will have the chance to share their real-life stories on brain drain in an open dialogue with their regional and local elected politicians, as well as with representatives from the European Parliament and the European Commission. The aim is to share experiences on how local and regional authorities can tackle brain drain in their areas, while identifying needs and resources to cope with the phenomenon also at national and EU levels. The event will be web streamed and followed by a networking session.

Interpretation will be provided in English and French.

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Europarlamentarul Clotilde Armand, Renew Europe, organizează Conferința „Europa de Vest vs. Europa de Est? Nu. O Europă mai convergentă” București, vineri, 13 decembrie a.c., începând cu orele 11:00, la hotel Hilton – Athénée Palace, Salon Le Diplomat

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