Security policy, Russia and creating growth and tackling unemployment were the top topics when President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz discussed current EU affairs with the EP’s Facebook fans in a Facebook chat organised by the Parliament on Wednesday. Schulz stated that it is “important to get growth and jobs going again” and that “we should find a way to cooperate, if Russia wants to cooperate with us”.
The relations between the EU and Russia were brought up, with people asking if cooperation with Russia would ever be possible. “The EU and the Russian Federation are neighbours and therefore I think that we should find a way to cooperate, if Russia wants to cooperate with us,” Schulz replied, adding that had met with the Russian ambassador just before the chat started.
Many chat participants asked about security themed issues, such as how to deal with returning foreign fighters. President Schulz said reintegrating the returning fighters should be tried if “they are prepared to leave their fanatic path,” and that that more should be done also to combat social exclusion.
To questions concerning the recent proposal on a common European army, Schulz replied “we need a common foreign and security policy”, explaining that combined military capacities would be a way of reducing military spending in a time when “money is certainly needed elsewhere”.
President Schulz was also asked about creating growth and jobs and at the same time battling unemployment. “In the investment plan, we should connect investments and the support of enterprises to the employment of young people,” he said. “What we need is to ensure we can get growth and employment going again”. Schulz also stressed that young people must find jobs where they are living, and that freedom of movement should be a privilege, not a must.
Answering questions concerning Greece Schulz said: "I think Grexit is not an option". He also said that "we need cooperation. This applies to both sides. There is an enormous will to help Greece and I hope that the Greek government understands this."