Mrs. Georgieva, for several months you have been occupying the highest position that Bulgarian representative had in the EC, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Budget and Human Resources. What are your main tasks?
The time in which we live sets the priorities. We are going through a period of difficult and hesitant recovery of the European economy from the worst post-war crisis. For the European Commission team this means that our main task, including in the area of budget and human resources, is to give a new boost to investment in Europe. Only in this way economy can return to stable growth, provide jobs and incomes to European citizens.
This priority forms the three main goals for me and my team also in the area of budget. First, we should ensure stable financial resources for the annual European financial plan. Second, we should ensure that the budget is used to fund programs and activities that generate competitiveness, growth, jobs and social benefits. Third, we should ensure that the money is used effectively and preserve it from abuse.
How should be funds allocated in the EU?
The key objective of the Juncker Commission is to achieve more growth, more jobs and investment for Europe. That is why in the coming years the European budget will continue to allocate funds in these areas. The agreement, which we achieved for budget 2015, is a step in this direction – for example in the area of competitiveness for growth and jobs we plan almost 4 billion euros more than in 2014.
The European Union was founded on the principle of solidarity – more wealthy countries help others so as to achieve a gradual convergence among all. This is the true meaning of cohesion policy. History shows that this philosophy works – look at Spain, Portugal and Poland for example. Apart from that we help countries outside Europe, where every euro can achieve and achieves even greater effect. This principle should continue to be followed.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker very clearly defined its main purpose to the new staff – restart of the European economy. In recent years Europe has experienced one of the worst financial and economic crises in its post-war history. To maintain stability of their financial systems, governments have introduced many restrictions, but slowed the growth of economies and left many people jobless. A lot of Europeans got desperate and lost faith. At the same time, other countries around the world continued to move forward – such as China. Now is the time for Europe to catch up, to go in the right direction, to push the economy, to restore confidence in people, to offer them a better life. To be a generator of this change, the European Commission proposed investment plan for Europe worth 315 billion euros.
The objectives of the document are in line also with priority tasks of the European Union – developing digital economy, energy efficiency, improving transport infrastructure, competitiveness of European education, research and innovation.