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". Ladies and gentlemen, I am extremely grateful for the excellent and highly pertinent contributions you have made during this debate on the preparation for our Lisbon Special Summit. I think that we needed to have this debate and we also needed to involve Parliament, because in my opinion Europe still lacks strategic direction. In order to achieve this strategic direction, there must be an institutional alliance which transcends the natural differences of political opinion. This alliance has in fact been given form in the excellent contribution that Romano Prodi’s Commission has just made to the preparations for the Lisbon Summit with their paper. The fact that Parliament has a crucial role to play in this is also important. ( ) At the Lisbon Summit, in addition to agreeing on a strategy, I would like us to define a set of measures and an open form of coordination. Let me give two examples which relate to everything that has been said here about the practical measures I would like to see adopted. One is that by 2002, all of Europe’s schools and training centres should be connected to the Internet and that they should at the same time have appropriately trained staff to provide the training which young people leaving secondary education need. I also would also like to see everyone receiving professional training, whether they are unemployed or not, to be able to gain a kind of “driving licence” for the information society, which will enable them to operate computers and navigate the Internet. If this happens, we will then be providing a framework under which information technology is not a cause of social division, that is to say of a widening in the gulf between those who succeed and those who fail. On the contrary, it will be a major vehicle for integration and for combating social exclusion. My second example is this: a great deal has been said about the participation of women in the labour market and about equal opportunities for women and men in society in general. Practical measures relating to what I spoke about earlier – a common goal for support services for families and particularly for children – are a key factor in creating jobs and at the same time creating equal opportunities and ensuring much greater participation by women in the labour market. We need practical measures like this, but we also need a form of coordination that will enable us, as part of the various approaches that have been referred to here, to ensure that the European institutions and governments adopt joint action programmes and have quantifiable and verifiable instruments to facilitate this coordination. Much has been said in today’s debate about the fundamental concepts of modern life, such as globalisation, the knowledge society and the relationship between the old and new economies. All these words and the ideas behind them can apply to both opportunities and threats. The challenge before us is to turn threats into opportunities and particularly, to avoid at all costs turning opportunities into threats. Obviously, in order to achieve this, there are two issues which are crucial in all areas. Firstly, massive investment in people is needed. A key concept which many of you have mentioned here today is the fact that lifelong training and learning are an investment in people and a decisive factor in these trends becoming an opportunity for everyone. But in addition to investing in people, public authorities, be they individual Member States, the European Union itself or international authorities, must be equipped with regulatory powers to ensure that business and personal initiatives are compatible with social justice and fairness. This certainly holds true for globalisation, which permits greater growth in wealth, international trade and productivity. However, unregulated globalisation, which is what we have today, or globalisation in which large sections of the world’s population do not benefit from significant investment in people, is also a factor in exclusion, in division and in widening the gap between rich and poor. This also applies to the knowledge society, which may give rise to a new equality of opportunity, but could also be a factor in the increasing gulf between those who have access to it and those who do not. This also applies to the relationship between the old and new economies. This is in fact not the first time that a technological transition has changed the social model and the model of economic organisation. At such times of profound change, problems, particularly those concerning employment in the old economy, have been resolved by turning to the new economy and its resources. To give an example, in Europe we have a textile industry. We must maintain a textile industry in Europe, but this will only happen if we are able to apply the technologies of the information and knowledge society. It is quite extraordinary that at the moment, in the so-called “new economy” sectors, there is a shortfall of around 800 000 qualified people for existing posts at the same time that there are millions of people unemployed. This means that we have not yet managed to use the resources of the new economy to resolve the problems of the old economy. We will never find solutions to those problems if we approach them with the mindset of that old economy. Lastly, I would like to answer a question that I have been asked, which is whether I am speaking here on behalf of 15 or 14 countries. The answer is simple: I am speaking on behalf of 15 countries. One of the things that the Portuguese Presidency has guaranteed is Austria’s full participation in the workings of of the Union’s institutions. This does not prevent the Portuguese Government, and many other European governments, from being not so much in dispute with a particular country, as being engaged in a battle to preserve certain principles and values. Strangely enough, these very principles and values existed even before political movements such as the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats. I am talking about principles and values which come from the Enlightenment and which affirm the supremacy of reason. Because, if modern societies have one enemy today, it is irrationality in political behaviour. We could call this irrationality political populism, or excessive nationalism, or religious fundamentalism, or racism or xenophobia. This is a key issue: unless these values are respected, we may have a healthy economy, we may have jobs, but there will be no Europe."@en1

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