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Jlf/Omen in tomorrow's Europe
May is Europe Day, and it is on that day that
the European project was born, a project
which has affected so many individuals and
peoples. Founded on peace and solidarity, these
principles still remain the cornerstones of our
European Union.
But times have changed, fast and significantly,
modifying planetary equilibrium's, reorienting
national perspectives, overwhelming the European
citizen who sometimes worries, often wonders, but
who hopes as well.
Of course, the Union's enlargement perspectives
are an essential issue in the framework of the IGC.
Europe's highest ambition, however, is to be "the
business of its citizens", not only for those already
in the Union, but also for all citizens whose
countries have democratically chosen to enter into
that Union, respecting the principles which govern
European construction.
by Simone Veil

• Simone Veil has served as French Minister of
: the Interior, Minister of Social Affairs, Health
• and Urban Affairs, as well as President of the

European Parliament .

• 0 ver the course of the 1990s, Europe

has experienced greater changes
than over the four preceding
• decades . Added to the upheaval
• caused by the collapse of the for• mer Soviet block, is the mutation
• occurring in society brought on by
• the economic crisis and, at the
• same time, by scientific and techno: logical progress.
• • Indeed, the European Union faces many
• challenges: the first is to answer to the as• pirations of the new democracies emerging
With this fundamental task before us, it is our
• from communism, by progressively opening
responsibility, we who are in charge of Information : its doors to them. To do this, it must adapt
in the Community, to do all that we can to ensure
• its institutions, making them more efficient
that no information gap is going to create a democ- • and more democratic. The tragedy of the
sufficient to substantially lower the number
of unemployed and people living below the
poverty level. Such exclusion of a part of
the population which endangers social cohesion is not tolerable.
Together, Europeans must explore new
ways to find a social organisation better
adapted to current priorities, knowing that
For the orcasio11 £~{ 9 .Nlay, ' 'ope Day,
the JVomen of Europe N e '' etter has
asked political figures mrd jo11malists to
express their personal l'ieli'S 011 Europe~·
persperti l'CS.
The articles and quotes reflect only the views of their authors and engage
solely their personal responsibilities .
ratic gap within the European Union. We shall
• former Yugoslavia reminded us
• of the necessity for Europe to
undertake this task with even greater fervour with
5 11
• be capable of fully assuming
aren e
social spending is already a
respect to the female public, as it is particularly
• its responsibilities at the in• • • • • • •
heavy burden for our econowomen who have felt most alienated in the

• ternational level, especially French nominee for the 1995 my, and cannot be increased
European project, and they know that in order to
• with regard to foreign and
Women of Europe Award, is
any more. In taking advanact, one must know how to participate.
• security policy.
the author of quotations which tage of its size and its diversi•
Last year, the May issue of the Newsletter traced •
Due to the global dimenmirror such views.
ty, Europe could be an imthe history of the rights acquired by European citi- • sion of exchanges and the inzens, under the impulse of the Community
: terdependence of economies, Europe caninstitutions. In 1996, in the context of the IGC, the • not close its borders. It is by becoming
Newsletter has opened its columns to women and • stronger that it will better be able to face inmen
• this perspective, the single currency is a viperson is Simone Veil who everyone knows,
• tal tool for guaranteeing the stability of exthrough her personal and public engagement, has
• change rates and for putting an end to specadvanced the cause of women's emancipation in
: ulation and competitive deEurope, and was the first - and, alas, until now the
• valuation.
only - woman president of the Eu.ropean


To become stronger also
• means to develop the single
These figures have been invited to present to
• market by implementing
• truly common policies in the
you their viewpoints on European perspectives and, •
in particular, on the major themes of the IGC:
• sectors of the future, notably
• high technology, and by indemocracy and enlargement. Through their
• creasing research. A minianalyses, their concerns, their convictions, you will
• mum amount of co-ordinadiscover the hope, the emotion and the strength

that each one invests, beyond their critique, in this
Union of Peoples. •
tion among European com• panies in industries where
• • total deregulation brings bet• ter organised competition to
mense social laboratory for
research and experimentation,
if it can show audacity and imagination.
Women are closer to everyday reality and
are often confronted with the difficulties related to time management and the absence
of local services, but their experience and
viewpoints are only rarely taken into account. If there were more of
them participating in the decision-making process, especially in politics, they would
surely be in a better position
to change society.
More readily accepted m
posts related to the social
sector, they rarely have access
to the economic and budgetary responsibilities where
the real power is .
• the European market, the
• reinforcement of solidarity
Simone Veil
We can no longer wait for
men to accept to make room
for women. Positive, binding measures are needed to change the situation. Whatever disgust one may feel for
quotas, we are going to have to resign ourselves to imposing them until we reach a
balance in decision-making.
Director-General DG X
"Information, Communication, Culture and
Audiovisual Media"
• through Structural Funds, favouring the
• harmonisation of the situations among
• Member States - this too will contribute to
: a better social and economic balance.
• • Growth obtained in this way will not be

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Women of Europe Newsletter [1996], 60 (May) - 1/4