At this week's plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg New Skills Agenda for Europe and economic diplomacy were debated.
The New Skills program, which is part of the Europe 2020 strategy, will focus on relevant skills, all in order to better integrate labour market trends and the availability of new skills.
The main guidelines of the program are reforms to improve flexibility and security in the labour market (flexicurity), training people with the right skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow, improving the quality of jobs and ensuring better working conditions, and improving the conditions for the creation of new jobs. MEP Dubravka Šuica participated in the debate on the New Skills program, stressing that it is most important to include young people and to significantly reduce unemployment, and as the biggest problem, she highlighted the mismatch between the education system and today's demanding needs of the labour market, particularly taking into account the single digital market. The European Union currently has 23 million unemployed people, of which 4.5 million are young people aged between 15 and 24, while more than 7 million young Europeans between 15 and 24 years are not employed, going to school or attending training, and the crisis regarding the employment of young people cannot be solved without an efficient and sustainable creation of high-quality jobs in Europe. The lack of relevant skills for available jobs and the incompatibility of education and training are important factors leading to youth unemployment.
Economic diplomacy is a process in which states present themselves to others in order to increase national income, and it functions bilaterally, multilaterally, and regionally, and it can be applied in many different ways, from the use of sanctions to discourage hostile behaviour to investment in less developed countries in order to create new jobs and reduce emigration. Participating in the debate, MEP Šuica said: ˝When it comes to economic diplomacy, it is important that it be in the function of foreign policy and that it must be internationalized using all diplomatic instruments in order to strengthen the already existing concept of economic diplomacy in the Member States. It is necessary to connect the European Service for External Relations with companies, especially those of small and medium size, which constitute 90% of the European economy. Knowing that Europe as a whole accounts for about 24% of the world’s GDP, it is necessary to maximize the economic dimension as an integral part of global cooperation with which Europe would continue to economically be number 1 in the world.˝