I speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
We align ourselves with the IMEC Statement.
We thank the Bureau and especially the Director General for the information provided.
1. We are happy to see that the DG shares our assessment that Climate change and environmental degradation pose significant challenges to economic growth and employment today, and that the risks will be greater in the medium-to long-term. We therefore welcome, in the context of just transition, the statement that "climate change remains the greatest global challenge of our time, and that we must act accordingly".
2. We would also like to express our appreciation for the responses on the relevance of youth & health and safety at work.
3. In the context of the Q&A, we regret that the issue of gender equality and equal opportunities did not receive the attention it deserves. We can therefore reiterate our position that the final proposal of the P&B readjusts relevant budgetary means to respond to the challenges related to this issue. In the same vein, the Office is encouraged to pay more attention to causes of discrimination and inequality rather than deal with the consequences.
4. It is reassuring to note that the Office will make extra efforts to generate extra-budgetary contributions in areas where budgets are scarce and to strategically use RBSA funding for that purpose when necessary.
5. After having received additional information regarding the proposed “unit to drive knowledge and innovation”, we are still not convinced that creating a separate unit is the best way forward to strengthen the uptake of innovation and knowledge. We also wonder what the impact of the creation of this unit will be on existing policy and research portfolios. We would therefore sincerely appreciate a reconsideration of moving forward on the idea of establishing a new Innovation & Knowledge unit.