Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Chancellor launches UK action plan to create lasting jobs in Europe [June 1997]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 4 June 1997.


A new UK initiative to cut unemployment across Europe was launched today by Chancellor Gordon Brown.  Mr Brown has sent his proposed Action Plan to his Finance Minister colleagues in the EU.  He will raise it at the Economic and Finance Council in Luxembourg on Monday.

Mr Brown commented: “Europe needs to create real and lasting jobs for all of its people.  We must act now to complete the single market and ensure that for those countries that join, EMU works on the basis of sustainable convergence.

“As I said last week in describing the G8 jobs initiative, employability is the key to a cohesive  society which offers opportunity to all its citizens.  Better education and higher skills, combined with reduced burdens on business, are the way to guarantee the high and stable levels of growth and employment which are the core goals of our economic policy.

“This is the new economic agenda.  It enables us to benefit from flexible labour markets, while ensuring that everyone can share in the rewards of a more dynamic economy.

“We intend to make this a key theme of our Presidency of the G8 and of the European Union.

“This approach is just as essential in Europe.  Something must be done urgently to increase the job creating potential of the European Union’s economies.  A new focus on creating lasting jobs is needed.  We need to increase the flexibility of Europe’s work force, look at how to combine an efficient welfare state with a dynamic job creating economy and remove the bureaucratic barriers keeping people from jobs.

“My action plan for Europe involves the ECOFIN Council focusing on how to use best practice to cut unemployment across the community; seeks to extend and complete the single market so that its job creating force can be renewed, and focuses on how the small business sector can create more jobs in the context of the single market and EMU.

“I intend to discuss these priorities with my ECOFIN colleagues in Luxembourg on Monday.

“These are practical proposals.  We will be looking for concrete results by the end of the British Presidency of the European Union in a year’s time.”