Position::Helle Thorning-Schmidt

With 23 million people unemployed throughout Europe and the economic crisis still in full effect, job creation is one of the central priorities of the Danish EU Presidency during the next six months. "We need to secure a Europe at work again," said Social Democrat Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt as she presented, during the European Parliament's plenary on 18 January, her country's official four-pronged programme at the EU's helm. This received the support of most political groups, in particular the S&D.

While in favour of "robust public finances," Thorning-Schmidt also called for a "new growth path". "We aim at both prosperity and solidarity," she said, adding that "in the modern world they are interdependent" and are "at the core of the European success". "People are ready to make sacrifices but they will not be sacrificed," she warned. "We must bring Europe out of the crisis with our values intact," she continued. The EU's social model, which Thorning-Schmidt considers to have been tested and proven through time, "must continue to be our guiding principle through and out of the crisis".

Three out of Denmark's four main priorities directly address the issues of fiscal discipline, growth and jobs. "The Danish Presidency will aim at ensuring a responsible Europe," said the prime minister, insisting on the need for consolidation and a modern EU multiannual budget. "This requires discipline and political will from all of us," commented Thorning-Schmidt. The second priority is to create a dynamic Europe. "We need to stimulate long-term growth and jobs," said the Danish premier, presenting the...

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