Ireland is looking forward to seizing the opportunities presented by its Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first six months of 2013 to deliver stability, jobs and growth in Europe. The Irish programme reflects the desire across the EU to learn from the economic crisis and to focus on strengthening competitiveness, fighting unemployment and its causes, and driving forward proposals that will deliver sustainable economic growth and employment. The most urgent priority for the EU is to stimulate growth leading to employment creation. Areas with the highest potential to create jobs would be the subject of a comprehensive legislative programme, notably on Europe's digital sector and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), who employ 87 million people in the EU already. "There is so much potential here left to be tapped and if we build confidence in this sector the benefits could be enormous. To give a couple of figures, 35% of all internet users avoid shopping online because of safety concerns. Progress on this front alone would make a big difference, especially for SMEs which we believe will drive Europe's recovery" Minister Creighton stated during a press presentation of Ireland's EU Presidency priorities.
As Europe’s recovery cannot happen in isolation and Europe must be an effective partner on the world stage, Ireland will work for stronger EU-UN relations, especially in the area of crisis management and peace support operations.
Source: Irish EU Presidency website
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