28-29 April 2013
Dublin Castle (view map)
Meeting of Chairpersons of Employment, Enterprise, Innovation and Social Affairs Committees of EU Member States and the European Parliament
Topic: Strategies to combat unemployment and harness the potential of SMEs
Image: Courtesy Maxwell Photography
European parliamentarians hear practical steps to foster enterprise and job creation strategies
Dublin, 29 April 2013: Members of the parliaments of EU Member States and the European Parliament met today in Dublin Castle to consider strategies to tackle youth unemployment and harness the potential of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
The Chairs of the Oireachtas Joint Committees on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and on Education and Social Protection, Deputies Damien English TD and Joanna Tuffy TD, co-hosted this meeting of Chairpersons of Employment, Enterprise, Innovation and Social Affairs Committees of EU Member States and the European Parliament.The Conference was addressed by EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, along with the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton TD and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD as well as a range of entrepreneurs and policymakers.
Chair of the Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Damien English TD says: “Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have a vital role to play in contributing to economic growth and employment in Ireland and the European Union. The conference centered on how best to harness the potential of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which are an important contributor to growth and employment in Ireland and the European Union. We were particularly struck by the practical contributions by entrepreneurs, who requested that the delegates ‘think differently’ and creatively about the collective challenges facing the EU.
“Minister Richard Bruton, TD reminded us that SMEs in their first six years were responsible for creating up to two-thirds of all new jobs and were the backbone of the European economy. The conference was informed on the range of enhanced measures required to foster entrepreneurship, including the nurturing of a similar system for seed capital that exists in the United States.”
Chair of the Committee on Education and Social Protection Joanna Tuffy TD, who chaired the session on youth unemployment, says: “There are few more urgent issues facing Ireland and Europe than that of unemployment. Today’s discussions commenced with a valuable debate on EU initiatives to combat the pan-European challenge of unemployment. The EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, said that with youth unemployment at 23 percent EU-wide, young people were twice as likely to be unemployed as the wider adult population. He spoke on the imperative for the effective implementation of the European Youth Guarantee, through which Member States have committed to guarantee those under 25 the offer of a job or further education and training within four months of becoming unemployed.”
“We also heard from Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton, TD on her perspective on the Youth Guarantee. Minister Burton outlined to the conference some of the structural measures in place in Ireland to support the young unemployed and keep young jobseekers close to the labour market. The conference was told about the rationale for Community Employment schemes, which allow people unable to access the labour market to make a meaningful contribution in their individual communities.”
The event was the fifth in a series of eight meetings being hosted by the Houses of the Oireachtas during the six month EU Presidency. Presentations and speeches are accessible below. Watch a YouTube playback of the full meeting view and photos from the day.
View video clips of Deputies English and Tuffy reflecting on the discussions: