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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEP welcomes Commission Employment Package but calls for tougher action on minimum pay

The European Commission has today unveiled its new Employment Package; a collection of measures aimed at encouraging job creation and labour market reforms across Europe and which support a better use of EU funds as a means of investing in people and their futures.

Under the proposals, Member States will be encouraged to strengthen their national employment policies by creating the right conditions for job creation and labour demand, such as support for business start-ups; exploit the potential of key job sectors, such as the green economy where 20 million jobs could be created between now and 2020; and improve workforce planning and forecasting to match supply and demand.

Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert has welcomed the package as a move towards an inclusive green employment agenda, but has expressed concern over the Commissions emphasis on the promotion of competitive wages rather than focusing on providing income security for Europes citizens.

Speaking on the day the proposals were unveiled, Jean said: “I welcome today’s proposals which shift the focus of the EU’s response to the financial crisis away from one-sided fiscal restructuring and towards employment creation; this is long overdue. The Greens in the European Parliament have consistently argued that, whilst fiscal rebalancing is necessary, we cannot simply cut our way out of this crisis and put even more people into poverty.

“The Commission has finally underlined the potential for job creation in the green economy. The energy efficiency sector alone could create five million jobs by 2020, so EU Member States should adopt ambitious legislation along the lines of the proposals adopted by the European Parliament. Member States should also follow the recommendation to shift taxes away from labour and towards resource use.

On income security, she said: “Commissioner Andor is right when he says that a minimum wage policy is central to a modern, cohesive society: for Greens that must also be a living wage if we are really to tackle in-work poverty”.