We need to put the young generation at the heart of our agenda

A more integrated Europe, better equipped for the future: that is what we have to achieve, and we, the EPP should continue to lead the path towards a political Union.
Speakers of today’s debate have pointed out priorities, all of them important, but we have to be very careful, because when everything is a priority, than we don’t really have priorities!
We are all coming after difficult electoral campaigns and we, the EPP did win the elections, but we all have heard also the voices of discontent, we all have heard citizen saying: “I love Europe, but not exactly as it is today!”
Change is necessary, reforms have to go on, and as they say, preparations for the new elections begin next day after the current ones. I strongly believe our top priority for the coming years should be the young generation!
Think of someone born in 1989, at the fall of the communist regime, being 25 today: did he or she vote? If yes, did he vote pro-Europe, or the other way?
If our youngster is one of the jobless young people, if he read one too many tabloid press articles mocking Brussels about regulating olive oil bottles and high heels of hairdressers, if OUR message did not get through to him, than we, pro-Europeans have a problem.
Our top priority should be the jobs strategy for youth, rethinking the role of vocational training, reform of our educational systems in line with the European re-industrialization strategies, efficient use of the Youth Guarantee and other European instruments in all the Member States.
We need to put the young generation at the heart of our agenda for the following five years!

MEP Iuliu Winkler’s statement during debate about “The EU’s Political Challenges 2014-2019” occasioned by the “EPP Group Study Days” (17-19th of June, Albufeira, Portugal).