Research and development can open the EU to new ideas and technologies that can help us manage cheaper energy costs, cheaper industry costs, and a cleaner and safer environment for all the EU. If anything we have to increase funding in R&D, not cut it, says Victor Negrescu.
Victor Negrescu is a Romanian MEP, and member of the Budget Committee.
Europe's economy would benefit from a greater role of women and young people. How can these two groups help Europe move from survival mode to growth and jobs in Europe? What role can innovation play?
Let me start by saying that I am a strong supporter of equal rights and opportunities. I do not think we should regard women or young people as a demographic in need or in survival mode, but rather focus on creating the right mainframe for both men and women, young and old to healthy develop and contribute to sustainable growth for the future.
Europe has to be able to create, of course through innovation and progressive thinking, the necessary means for all social groups and demographics to perform.
Regarding youth unemployment?
Everybody in the EU decision making process knows about the youth unemployment issue. I think we still have a long way to go and a lot more money to spend before we can safely say this is no longer an issue. The problem is we look at this problem unilaterally. People don’t really see the danger for the upcoming generations and for a strong and economically sound Europe. That is why we have to invest more money in the European youth Guarantee. The S&D initiative to form the Guarantee is great, but in my opinion it is still underfunded. We have to spend more money on youth initiatives, more money on keeping young people in school, more money on giving young people upper education now.
In the next 6 years youth unemployment will cost us billions of euros. Spend this money now, create a functioning infrastructure to put young people to work straight from their universities or schools, give them the means to hold their own in society, and Europe will thank you for it.
We still have an underdeveloped potential of strong educated women in overall upper management positions within large corporate bodies. The latest statistics show women in chairperson positions for large companies to be under 4%, actually close to 3%. This is in fact a real problem, but in order to fix it I think both the European Commission and the European Parliament have to empower women to start their own Small and Medium Businesses.
By allocating government directed funds, especially to help both women and young persons to develop their private business, we can shape a future Europe in which these two groups can more easily adapt and contribute to the overall economic performance of the EU.
Creating your own business builds up a strong point of view on the larger economic picture. Getting in charge of your own future as a young capable woman in the EU is the best thing that EU public policies can do for both young persons and women alike.
For both young people and women, we have to create jobs and opportunities in order to narrow the gap between East and West. Encourage migration and freedom of movement in the EU, encourage the creation of SME’s directed by women and young people, support strong and unified education throughout the EU. Offer stable solutions for a strong and foreseeable future, for both women and young generations.
Surely education has a role to play …
I think that only through good education we can hope to overcome the social stigma that usually accompanies women in the corporate world. Getting more women in business schools, attracting more women to have an MBA, through specially targeted funding is an excellent starting point to empowering women in underdeveloped regions throughout the EU.
I have a personal goal regarding education in Europe. I think that European policies should integrate national education systems, in order to further unite the EU and to further encourage students and young people to study abroad.
In the present, it is such a hassle to try and change schools from one country to another. We have to cut the red tape, and let people easily chose their school in the EU.
You are on the budget Committee of the Parliament. The “Horizon 2020” programme is funded with billions of euros. The European Parliament has a big say in supporting or not such Research and Innovation projects. What pressure are MEPs exerting to trigger more innovations?
I am glad you asked me this question. Very recently I had a short speech in the plenary of the EP exactly on this issue.
“Do not cut funding from the “Horizon 2020” program." This is the message that has to go out from all MEP’s that know some simple facts: first of all Horizon 2020 is a fundamental program that will shape Europe in 2020. Second, by cutting funding we discourage researchers and innovators to come to Europe with their projects thus keeping Europe under the edge of competiveness. Third, by underfunding, we endanger jobs creations on a long term which affects again the overall economic competitiveness of the EU.
Research and development can open the EU to new ideas and technologies that can help us manage cheaper energy costs, cheaper industry costs, a cleaner and safer environment for all the EU. If anything we have to increase funding in R&D, not cut it.