Following the European elections, which confirmed the expected increase in support for the Eurosceptic parties in most European Union countries, both President Hollande and the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, declared that Europe needed to refocus on growth and employment. This demand had been expressed as early as 7 January 2014 by numerous civil society organisations (Federalist and European movements, several trade unions and other representative organisations) when they submitted to the European Commission a citizens’ initiative for an extraordinary European plan for sustainable development and employment.

The aim of this citizens’ initiative, presented pursuant to article 11 of the Treaty of Lisbon, is to collect one million signatures in at least seven European countries in order to request the European Commission, as the European institution that has the right of legislative initiative, to present a legislative proposal for the adoption of an extraordinary European public investment plan and to create a solidarity fund to reduce unemployment, in particular youth unemployment which has reached unacceptable levels in most European Union countries.

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