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Bringing Europe closer to the people

Schultz, M. (2014) “Bringing Europe closer to the people“, European Parliament: Articles, 10 July.


“Isn’t it rather that Europe turns away from the people?” This question from a Danish woman during a debate on why people turn away from Europe got Martin Schulz thinking for months. “This sentence really touched me,” he told us a few months later in an interview. “Maybe it isn’t true, but we have to take this seriously, otherwise the European Union will fail.”

Schulz, who is the first EP president to get re-elected, is on a mission to bring Europe closer to the people. For him, the EU is not about creating the world’s largest single market, but about how it makes a difference to the lives of ordinary people every day. The EU should address people’s fears in order to tackle with euroscepticism and extremism.

Ensuring social justice

“The gulf between the rich and the poor in Europe is widening,” Schulz said. “More people find themselves in insecure work circumstances, while at the same time the super rich keep on getting wealthier. People don’t consider this justified and this is what we should tackle.” He also called high unemployment among young people worrying. “We can reform the labour market as much as we like, but while there is no [economic] growth, these people will not get a chance and an entire generation will turn away from Europe. We risk losing a whole generation.”


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