Together, we have achieved great things in Europe. During the last years, economic recovery has reached millions of families and unemployment is at its lowest since 2009. Yet, too many Europeans still struggle finding work opportunities. Our youth is affected the most. To continue on this dangerous path is unacceptable: Europe cannot afford to waste its talent and to lose its future.

That is why our goal is to create five million new jobs across the EU in the upcoming years. All Europeans deserve a chance, especially our youth. For this purpose, a redistribution exercise is not enough. We will not finance unemployment.

We want to create new jobs. We want to open a new chapter for Europe by investing in the great European potential through a strategy based on four pillars: trade, infrastructure, innovation and our social market economy.

Trade already supports around 36 million jobs in Europe. We want to create even more jobs by opening our markets to the new opportunities of an ambitious global trade agenda.

At the same time, we must protect our standards preventing unfair practices that undermine our workers and our values: we call for stricter anti-social dumping rules and the inclusion of a ban on child labour in every trade agreement with third countries.

We believe that by pooling our resources in ambitious European projects not only will we create jobs but also make a difference in people’s lives

European potential would go to waste without a strong network between regions. We believe that good connection and mobility across all regions of Europe are crucial drivers for jobs. The transport sector alone secures jobs for around 20 million people: connection creates opportunities.

That is why we must complete road and rail infrastructure while seizing the future’s possibilities by investing in the latest digital infrastructure: to ensure access to high-speed internet and world leading supercomputers to all European regions.

Over 830,000 innovative start-ups are active in the main European hubs employing around five million people. Innovation is in Europe’s DNA.

We believe Europe has the potential to seize the next digital wave and to take the lead in artificial intelligence, robotics, biomedicine, big data and mobility engineering. And we want to put people at the heart of innovation.

We believe that by pooling our resources in ambitious European projects not only will we create jobs but also make a difference in people’s lives: we can develop smart homes for the elderly and find a cure for cancer.

Markets are crucial but we also believe in the social responsibility of firms. Because creating opportunities for all is also a matter of fairness.

Therefore, to deliver on our promise, we call for a new ‘Digital Market Entry Fee’ for tech giants, to finance our investments and to make sure those who draw benefits from our economy also contribute their fair share.

This is our ambitious strategy to create five million new opportunities. The EPP Group is ready to open a new, fair and prosperous chapter for Europe.

Manfred Weber is chairman of the European People’s Party.

This is a Times of Malta print opinion piece


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