Monday, April 8, Oslo - President Dalia Grybauskaitė, who is currently on a working visit in Oslo, attended the European Regional Meeting organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO). At the meeting, Government, Employer and Worker representatives of the 51 countries of the region are discussing ways to boost economic growth, reduce unemployment and social exclusion.
As the President noted, in tackling employment and other post-crisis issues cooperation with this specialized agency of the United Nations, which is seeking best solutions to social problems, is very important for the EU.
Most of the EU social policy documents are based on the ILO conventions.
The President of Lithuania - the country to take over the Presidency of the EU Council in a few months - at the panel discussion "How to tackle the consequences of the financial crisis" presented Lithuania's experience and most effective measures to overcome the crisis. Lithuania's ability to act responsibly during the recession is considered as an example for the EU. The Commission is forecasting a 3.1 per cent real GDP's growth for Lithuania, while the Community's GDP is expected to increase by only 0.1 per cent.
"Strong political will, brave and resolute decisions, responsibility and unity of all people is needed to combat the crisis. Austerity is not enough. Financial discipline, structural reform and economic stimulus should be combined. Economic, financial and social policies should be consolidated," the President underlined.
According to the President, increased unemployment, especially among young people, is the gravest consequence of the financial crisis both in Lithuania and the entire EU, where almost six million young people are jobless. Therefore, employment policies deserve exclusive attention of the whole international community. Dealing with youth unemployment, Lithuania has launched the national "first job initiative" and redirected the EU funding.
The President stressed that during its presidency of the EU Council Lithuania will pay special attention to boosting economic growth and competitiveness. "Only competitive EU can ensure economic growth, new jobs and well-being of the people. Therefore, Lithuania will actively contribute to completing the EU's single market, lifting barriers to the free movement of people, implementing the Service Directive and digital market, and bringing into effect the initiatives to spur youth employment," the President said.