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Balance between fiscal discipline and growth is needed, says European Parliament President

The head of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, highlights common ground with the ILO on the need to move beyond austerity in the crisis response, on the importance of decent work and in the debate on the post-2015 development goals.

News | 22 March 2013
GENEVA (ILO News) – European Parliament (EP) President, Martin Schulz, underlined the need to balance fiscal discipline with growth, in an address to the ILO’s Governing Body in Geneva.

This is something that both the ILO and the overwhelming majority of European Parliament members have agreed, even at a time when austerity was seen by many as the only answer to the crisis, he said.

“We must take note that over the past years we were not sufficiently heard, which is regrettable because the result is that entire social groups were hit hard, such as women and young people.”

European Parliament President, Martin Schulz, addresses the ILO's Governing Body
(Video highlight)

He said the ILO and the EP also shared the same concern about inclusive growth and decent work.

“We all have a historic responsibility to manage the crisis. This is also an unprecedented opportunity to achieve transformational change in our economies.”

The ILO’s message that decent work is the basis for a decent society “is the right message in our eyes,” Schulz added.

He stressed that the most successful businesses and national economies in Europe are those which have created “high-equality workplaces which treat employees with dignity and in a spirit of partnership and with decent salaries in the frame of decent work”.

“I think together we can inspire a courageous action in response to the financial, economic and especially the social crisis, for example in strengthening the fight against youth unemployment, for decent work but also for decent pay.”

Schulz also said that the review of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) “is one of the highest priorities of the European Parliament,” adding that “one of our main partners in the debate of the post-2015 agenda is the International Labour Organization”.

The MDGs are eight international development goals that UN member states committed to achieve by the year 2015.

In his opening remarks, ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, welcomed the support of the European Parliament President for what he termed “decent work as a solid foundation for recovery from lingering crisis”.

He also said that the broad support for the ILO in Europe “is extremely important to us as we face the twin challenge of defending and modernizing the European social model, at the same time as building a stronger worldwide social dimension to globalization”.