To Which Political Group Goes Your Preferences?


To Which Political Group Goes Your Preferences?

We know it is difficult to read every political program and understand it. That is why we have asked the main representatives of every political group to give their opinion in topics that have an especial sensibility for youth. In the next table, you can find and compare which are the positions of the different groups and you can, therefore, compare them. In order to be as much objective as possible, we have transcript the interviews we carried out in order to avoid misinterpretations. For every one of the topics you have the complete answers so you can read exactly what they told to us.

How would you like to see EU in 5 years?
What does your group proposes to tackle youth unemployment? What is the opinion about Youth guarantee?
Are you in favor of more enlargements?
How is your group ambition to integrate minorities?
What does your group consider to increase participation of young people on the political life? What does considered to do to increase participation in the next elections?
What is your group proposal to improve the situation in the education system? Has your group any position on the Education in EU?
What could be done for increasing the number of people studying abroad?
Is your group in favor of facilitating the conditions for VISAS in the EU?
Which is your group position on the United States of EU, should be more integration?
What is the highest priority of your group in the term 2014-2019?

How would you like to see EU in 5 years?

European People Group (EPP) 

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First we will have a lot of work to get out of this crisis, crisis that was brought by american market. We have to consolidate the Europe that we have now, the one which is working.

We have to finish what we started with the monetary union, and start doing it for security and defense.

We have to get out of this crisis in order to stop destructing job in Europe. of course we have to create new one, but the priority is to keep the ones that already exist.

Years ago, we got a discussion about letting go the assembly factories in Europe and create service job. These job were created, true, but far away from Europe. So in the next 5 years we have to keep the job that already exist and try to integrate the youth into the job market..

Socialist and Democrats (S&D)

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We would like to see a Europe with full employment, especially for the young generation but also a Union which is caring for a socially needed, reducing the gap between the rich and the poor, a social Europe.

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

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Liberals want a Europe that inspires trust, not fear; promotes prosperity and unity, not division. We want a Europe with authority on the world stage. We want a Europe that boosts the economy and creates jobs. We want a Europe that is more transparent and accountable. A Europe that protects the safety and security of its citizens. A Europe of tolerance and equality, with strong civil rights and liberties. A Europe based on genuine democracy and the will of its citizens. A Europe that takes the lead in fighting climate change. A Europe which  works for us all..

Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (NGL)

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As a left Eurogroup, fighting for a EU in solidarity, more social EU, bring EU to the sense of people. EU was build for people not for money. We are supporting the idea of EU, of all MS but in more democratic ways, more participation of the people on important decisions

We are fighting for minimum incomes, minimum wages and also minimum ecological standards. This is for us another EU than we have today. There is a big lack between institutions, government and the kind of policies we have seen out and bringing the people to live together, the respect for other people, fight for the people who live in poverty. We want to bring together the EU for people and not for banks and big capitals..

European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

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A more open, flexible and economically vibrant continent where nation states cooperate without power constantly being centralised towards Brussels.

What does your group proposes to tackle youth unemployment? What is the opinion about Youth guarantee?

European People Group (EPP)

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A young person should always start working, even if it’s for a minimum wage. The enterprise has to do more, propose more facilities, not for exploiting young people but in order for them to enter into the system.

Young people should understand that when you are going out of university you don’t have value, but you are more costing money to society. After going into the system and working for a year, being competent and efficient, then you would gain value.

Socialist and Democrats (S&D)

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Youth guarantee has been always in our minds and we have proposed it again and again. Can it work? Yes. Will it solve all problems? No, it can´t work alone. We need to generate growth that is taking up younger generations to jobs. There is necessity to change the course from austerity to growth policies.

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

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European Liberals believe that the greatest social and economic crisis now facing Europe is unemployment, especially among young people. Identifying opportunities through employment, education and training is the top priority for those elected as ALDE Members of the European Parliament in May 2014.

European Liberals have urgently called for every effort at EU level to be made to bring about a detailed and coordinated response to tackling youth unemployment, each Member State committing to put in place a detailed national plan to tackle youth unemployment by mid-2013.

We have called for additional structural funds to be put aside for those Member States with the highest rates of youth unemployment and ensure that the EU puts aside significant funds in the post-2014 EU budget for addressing youth unemployment so that they can focus on providing professional training leading to concrete job opportunities and allowing unskilled, or highly educated but non-integrated in the job market.

European Liberals will continue to advocate and advance the putting in place of measures to support job creation in small and medium sized businesses, such as facilitating urgent access to finance for SMEs and supporting young entrepreneurs.

In the European Parliament our MEPs have supported the introduction of the Youth Guarantee scheme, which our Vice Chair on the Employment Committee Nadja Hirsch has commented that “investment in Youth Guarantee schemes is one of the key measures to avoid us literally losing an entire generation […] The implementation of Youth Guarantee schemes, however, must be managed locally. Member States can use European funds to match their investments in youth training or apprenticeship schemes that will help young people into the job market.

Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (NGL)

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We have inside EU a big problem of strategy for the government to solve the crisis by austerity. If the EU are fighting youth unemployment they have to stop austerity. Without that would be impossible. Looking at the budgets and the structural funds for the next years you will see that the promises for fighting the youth unemployment but in reality they don’t bring the money necessary for this. It is the same problem than youth guaranty. We have to put more money in a fund by the MS to fight youth unemployment. We have to accept what the problems is in the group of 18-30 where we have youth unemployment among high and low or any qualification and it requires different programmes in different MS and you have to have money to fight it.

You have to stop austerity policy, the policy of privatization and liberalization. You have to organize programs to support school and university programs to enhance youth qualification.

European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

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We believe the solution is to help businesses grow and create more jobs. The problem with the EU’s approach is that it believes its actions can create jobs. Too often its red tape has the adverse impact of costing young people jobs. Take the Agency Workers Directive: it was intended to help (often younger) people who carry out temporary jobs to have enhanced working conditions. The unintended consequence  of it however has been for businesses to no longer take on temporary staff – thus increasing unemployment. Governments do not create jobs: businesses do. Most of the time governments just get in their way.

We do not support the Youth Guarantee because it is a false promise that we can guarantee a person a job. Instead we should so all that we can to make our workforce competitive and skilled so that companies will want to locate in Europe.

Are you in favor of more enlargements?

European People Group (EPP)

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Our group is doing a lot for enlargement; we have worked for the enlargement in Croatia for example.  Now, we believe that Europe has the duty to continue this enlargement but within the rules, within good conditions and well prepared. For example  for Romania and Bulgaria, the conditions were not ideal. We are working a lot for Ukraine and Balkans’s countres to join European Union, but with the condition of being well prepared.

Socialist and Democrats (S&D)

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I think we should go how we procedure in the past, Yes we want the enlargement but all the problems should be solve before you enter in the EU. And therefore we are for the continuation of the talks with Balkans and Turkey but making clear the conditions about human rights, corruption, values of the EU, all this elements have to be dealt seriously by the countries who want to enter into EU.

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

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ALDE firmly believes that the enlargement process must continue as planned and according to agreements made with the candidates Macedonia and Turkey, and that the Union should enhance cooperation with future Member States within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and potential candidate countries within the framework of the Thessaloniki Process reaffirming that the future of all countries of the Western Balkans lies in the European Union.

For ALDE, the European Union has a moral obligation to keep the door open for all European countries wishing to join the Union and who are prepared to meet the Copenhagen criteria, in particular as the prospect of EU membership has served well as an important incentive for democratic reforms, the rule of law and tackling corruption.

Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (NGL)

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Yes, I am for the enlargement of EU because there are not concrete frontiers between EU and Europe. If another country wants to be part of the EU we have to say yes but we have to solve the problems connected. We have to guarantee from the EU that the new country is able to join and also to look that the common aquis is also enough for joining the EU. We have seen in the last year the Rumania and also Bulgaria have had a lot of problems and we need more attention for solving also problems together on the base of common respect. I am also in favor on Turkey in terms of enlargement but also to see that human right problems are solve and the standards are compatible with EU ones.

European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

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We believe enlargement has been a success story of the EU and, provided applicant countries meet the criteria, we support further enlargement

How is your group ambition to integrate minorities?

European People Group (EPP)

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Our group is working for the integration of minorities. We can take the example of one of EPP MEPs : Lívia JÁRÓKA who is from the Roma minority. She is working a lot and teaching a lot to all the members of the group.

We do not believe that minorities issues can be decided from the top, but working on the field. We have to listen to people that are coming from minorities in order to take the informed choices.

Socialist and Democrats (S&D)

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It is necessary that all the MS and all the governments reinforce the policies of integrations. We develop a work in our group with field visits especially in areas where roma integration should be needed. We have also positive examples funded by the Social Fund and therefore we have demand from countries to take the money from the Social Fund  an enhance integration of the social minorities. We have to fight extremist that are against integration

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

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The defense and protection of minorities is a typical and characteristic liberal principle that should in no circumstances be renounced and as such the ALDE Group in the European Parliament have consistently stood up for minorities when there are fears of exclusion and injustice.

Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (NGL)

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We are supporting with all our forces the fundamental rights chapter of the European Union. What is not included is the right of ethnic minorities, so we think we should enlarge this chapter to include all people, not only citizens, living into the European Union who have the right to live with dignity. This is a position that we are supporting. Other concern is the way that Roma people is treated inside EU, we have to make more pressure for France, Czech, Hungarian government that are not ensuring, not guarantying the rights of Roma and zingers in citizens of EU. We have to critized the German government that was against people of this countries coming to Germany saying that they just want to come to use the social services and are not able to work. We have to organize initiatives and campaigns for explaining the situation to the public. This is very important to explain the situation.

European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

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We believe that this is a predominantly Member State matter. Different countries will have different needs and challenges regarding integration and whilst they can all learn from each other, we should avoid a one-size-fits-all European approach.

What does your group consider to increase participation of young people on the political life? What does considered to do to increase participation in the next elections?

European People Group (EPP)

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Youth participation is one of our main problem. Media should help us more : when you hear that everything that is going bad in a country is because of Europe and everything that is good is due to national State, we understand the difficulty of being interested in voting.

Extremists are using it, and one morning we will wake up astonished by the voting rate for the extremist parties.

Young people should go to vote for this European idea, for 60 year of peace. Young people have now the possibility of crossing borders, of circulation which the older generation didn’t get.

Our communication is done with the help of young people from our party.  We are trying to meet young people in some university, to give scholarship, and enabling young people to come and do internship within our party.  We want more than only student circulation within the European Union

Socialist and Democrats (S&D)

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We are really open and organize to social media. We have the “relaunching Europe” event where we have invite a lot of young people. We also screen our events in order to attract them but of course the national parties have to do their job and we ask them to have young people on the list. We have to stress the values cause many of young people are interesting in the policies doing in the European Union in terms of values and that should be appealing for them.

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

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The ALDE Party is very concerned by the declining levels of youth participation in politics and through its organisations and youth arm – LYMEC – has actively encouraged young people to engage and get involved. The ALDE Party is the first and only pan-European political party that offers the opportunity for individual members to join the party and contribute.

Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (NGL)

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Is an overall concerning for political social life. We have to support the campaigns by youth students and young parliamentarian. We have to think about participation in the elections since the age that you can vote. Our proposal is to say 16 years is a good age to start vote in the national level but also at the European level.  The next one is an ECI to support initiatives by youth organizations which aims to fight against youth unemployment, for the right of education, for the right of formation and for a job guarantee. And also initiatives concerning ecology and social live at all.

In summary, the age of voting and the right of bringing initiatives to the Parliament and also the exchanges among young people in the MS we have to support it.

European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

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We would like to hope that young people do not think in a single block but instead have a wide array of different views on the solutions to today’s challenges. The best thing that we could do for young people now is to pay down our debts and take the difficult structural decisions regarding our economies so that Europe does not decline against the rest of the World. If all people felt the EU was focusing on these kind of big issues, rather than meddling in their lives, then we might see a more broad participation in the European Elections from all age groups.

What is your group proposal to improve the situation in the education system? Has your group any position on the Education in EU?

European People Group (EPP)

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Erasmus is not enough, but it is this what we can do with limited budget.

You have to ask yourselves which kind of Europe do you want. Go vote and ask for what you want from your politics.

Larger erasmus, fiscal and social harmonization are needed in order to create and work in a common Europe.

Socialist and Democrats (S&D)

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We are against any cuts about expenditure in education. Education and training give new skills to citizens and can bring to a job and participation in society. The extension of exchange programmes is important to know each other and to jump beyond the limits and to build to a new Europe

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

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European Liberals will work to ensure that apprenticeship diplomas and university diplomas are freely recognised across borders and that dual training, university and enterprise across borders is strengthened.

We also support the notion of a ‘fifth freedom’: the free movement of knowledge – including greater mobility for students, academics and researchers – between member states, so as to encourage inventions and discovery.

Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (NGL)

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First of all, we are supporting the idea of LLP but must not be the idea not in the interest of the markets but the persons. The individual rights of learning from kindergarten till the end of your life but not on the markets interest but in your one.

The next one is to give the children the right to join a kindergarten independent from the income of the parents. Also we reject the proposals to introduce fees on the studies (free education). You have a lack among different member states due to the different level of incomes of citizens that conditioned if they can study or not. We have to stop it, no fees for studies but high quality universities.

European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

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We believe that education predominantly a Member State issue in the EU. However, we should exchange good practice across Europe on different methods and techniques.

What could be done for increasing the number of people studying abroad?

European People Group (EPP)

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We have to multiplicate Erasmus budget per 10. Not everyone can go moneywise. Mobility is the future of Europe.

Socialist and Democrats (S&D)

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Money could be helpful of course but the Council has been really restrictive on that. We have to ensure that the promises given can be financed and not that the Council is cutting again the budget. It´s not possible just to say, if you don´t find a job go to another country and at the same time cut the budget for students and apprentices to go to another country. It´s not only about to get a job but also to learn in another places.

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

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European Liberals believe that more EU funds should also be directed towards research, which adds value and gives tools to researchers, PhD students and universities. We welcome the increase in budget that in times of austerity has been granted to the Erasmus+ mobility programme. For us, this programme shows how the EU can bring important added value to national education strategies. Cross-border mobility and experience are essential to the functioning of the European labour market and will ultimately drive economic growth. Work and study abroad offers many advantages – especially in the context of the economic crisis. We therefore welcome the 40 % budget increase for the new Erasmus+ programme shows that the EU understands that principle more than ever.

Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (NGL)

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You should enlarge Eramus and another programme and ensure funds for them. Last year we had the situation that for EU was not possible to pay for Erasmus and this is not acceptable. There should be a clear decision from EU institutions that students will get the fund. We could also explore the possibilities of Erasmus programme for formation. Young people on formation that could make an exchange to see how are the conditions on another country.

European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

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We have recently agreed a new Erasmus programme to help young people study abroad.

Is your group in favor of facilitating the conditions for VISAS in the EU?

European People Group (EPP)

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Within the 28 we don’t need visa, but we still need to work for the others. The exemple of Albania is that the people that need visa and that European Union is blocking is especially students that want to study in Europe. We need to be more open about the visa’s of student that want to study within the European Union

Socialist and Democrats (S&D)

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We need both, many students to get abroad and bring back their experiences and also many young people from the surrounding countries like Eastern countries, to get to know what is happening in Europe. Many people are eager to know and to learn about our practices and programmes. Therefore the best way to change and influence societies outside EU is by bringing young people to EU and also the other way around having a  real mutual exchange.

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

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European Liberals view visa facilitation is an important step towards the realisation of what we believe is one of the basic democratic values – freedom of movement. We have called for the complete visa liberalisation for students and professionals traveling for academic or scientific purposes from an EU country to another European country and the reverse, in addition to calling for the simplification of procedures for obtaining a visa and eliminate visa costs for citizens from other European countries traveling to EU.

Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (NGL)

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We are in favor of allowing all people of the MS of the EU to get a visa without any limits. If you look to Romania and Bulgaria, there are members of the EU and their citizens have the same rights than the others also if you look to roma and zingers.

Of course we should negotiate with neighbors’ countries outside EU under which conditions it´s possible to get VISA. If we have good and easy possibilities that they [citizens from those countries] can come inside EU this is important for the relation with those countries like Moldavia and Russia. We have to have a transparent base for this decision. It´s important so you don´t need Frontex or other system outside EU.

European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

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The EU has visa agreements with different countries. We would need to look at each country on their merits.

Which is your group position on the United States of EU, should be more integration?

European People Group (EPP)

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Europe is walking and even the most extreme will not stop it. Solidarity worked with Iceland and Greece. Nowadays none of the European Union country can do it alone towards the rest of the world (Brazil, China, Russia). We are now working in this direction.  The USA are 260 years old, we will see how European Union will be in 200 years.

Socialist and Democrats (S&D)

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There are different opinion, but the majority is for more integration, whether you call USE or not, especially in those areas where we have to be competitive and strong in the global challenges we need more integration. Only together we can deal with China eye to eye, on the same level, over the EU or emerging countries as Brazil. Perhaps not so much interference in the detailed world of our citizens, but to have a clear economic and foreign policy strategy in order to represent the interest of our citizens globally we need more integration.

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

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European Liberals are in favour of further integration; however it is premature to talk about the “United States of Europe”. This is currently not a relevant question.

Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (NGL)

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There we have different positions inside our group. From more sovereignty on the member states, as a personal vision, I think is necessary to look forward for the next 50, 100 years with more integration and why not discuss of EU as a United Federal States. We need a better balance. We need more concretization concerning the right of EU and the right of MS. I think that inside a MS you have to learn that inside the Maastricht Criteria, the states are not longer national states but member states. For this we have to look what it means and to explaining. We have to look for a balance of the democratic rights at the local level, the national parliaments and the European level. This is how we can enlarge, only with consistent enlargement of democracy

European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

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The EU should remain a collection of nation states cooperating together and trading in an open and developed Single Market. We believe that a United States of Europe would undermine nation state democracy across Europe and remove the EU’s key strength: its diversity.  We would like to see some elements of EU centralisation of power reversed so that people are empowered to make decisions about their own lives.

What is the highest priority of your group in the term 2014-2019?

European People Group (EPP)

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Keeping the market economy working. If we want to do some social work, we need first to have stable or growing economy. We need to stop losing Jobs. We need a fiscal and social rules’ harmonization and we need to do it soon in order to stop a 2 speed Europe.

Socialist and Democrats (S&D)

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Jobs, jobs, jobs, I think this is very important because is basis of the life itself for young people is to have a job where you can earn enough money for you and your family. Sometimes, maybe there are jobs but not decently paid. We need decently jobs as the bases for everything else in society including tolerance and respect for everyone else.

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

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European Liberals believe that the greatest social and economic crisis now facing Europe is unemployment, especially among young people. Identifying opportunities through employment, education and training is the top priority for those elected as ALDE Members of the European Parliament in May 2014.

Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (NGL)

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Fighting against authority, poverty, youth unemployment and for gender equality.

European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

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To develop more open and deregulated markets and a more flexible EU so that our economy returns to growth and creates jobs.