The European Commissioner for Regional Development, Romanian Corina Cretu, believes that 2017 will be a decisive year for the European Union.
The European Commissioner for Regional Development, Corina Cretu, has said in an article carried by the leading EU affairs newspaper “New Europe”, that the year 2017 will be the year of all crossroads for the European Union. In her opinion, climate change and populism have two things in common – namely, if left unaddressed they both create havoc in the long-term and to tackle them requires working on their root causes and then acting fast. In the case of populism, “though history shows that no country has ever made any sort of progress by retreating in its shell, the perception is there. Therefore we must address it. In 2017. We cannot give more time to time…,” the Romanian Commissioner has said, citing the former French President Francois Mitterand.
Corina Cretu believes that communication can have an important role in solving these problems, especially in the age of social networks. In her opinion, Europe is good news, however it is not always perceived as such. The conclusion is therefore, Corina Cretu also says, that we are failing to share the good news with Europeans. 2017 is also a milestone year for communication, says Corina Cretu, who believes that it’s time for the EU officials to focus less on communiqués and press conferences and more on direct communication with the citizens, via social networks. She has warned that the message also needs to be changed, in the sense that the EU officials must convey relevant messages. According to the European Commissioner, in 2017 the famous aphorism ” Not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done” should be reworded in “Not only must the European Union work for 500 million Europeans, it must also be seen to work”.
Thus, Corina Cretu says, 2017 must be the year to empower all those who benefit from regional policy to make their voice heard, from cities and regions to small and medium enterprises, universities, NGOs, young people, hospitals. The EU Commissioner explained that at a time when the private sector doesn’t trust national budgets, the EU budget and regional policies more specifically are seen as a guarantee for safe investments for all.
“A stronger regional policy means a stronger Europe. And a stronger Europe means less populism, fewer short-sighted nationalist reflexes. If we succeed on this, we will have successfully negotiated 2017, the year of all crossroads,” Corina Cretu concluded. (Translated by E. Enache)