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South East MEP Sharon Bowles welcomes UK benefits of Europe 2020 strategy

March 3, 2010 1:00 PM

Lib Dem MEP Sharon Bowles, Chair of the European Parliament's powerful Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has today welcomed the European Commission's communication on the Europe 2020 strategy.

The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will play an active part in formulating and implementing the Europe 2020 strategy. In particular, it will focus on improving economic governance, sustainability and the quality of public finances, fiscal policy coordination, and reforming the financial system at the EU-level and globally.

Sharon Bowles said:

"The Commission and Parliament need to work together to build a strategy which can help us come out stronger from the financial crisis and turn the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. Needless to say, despite a common consensus, this will not be easy.

"Outlined in the Europe 2020 strategy paper is the 'First Flagship Initiative for an Innovation Union'. This part of the strategy is close to my heart and personal experience as a science graduate and former patent attorney.

"The 'Innovation Union', as a European goal, reinforces my campaign to ensure that UK universities have places for the growing number of science and maths students we are now generating in schools.

"I am also concerned that the financial industry sucks in a lot of science and technology graduates. Clearly their skills are needed and I want to see the financial sector helping to shoulder some of the cost of educating these graduates. Indeed, it can cost more to educate science and engineering graduates and university departments can only flourish if they have well-funded research departments. This is where funding from the City could play a role."