Labour MEP tells industry commissioner we can't allow local communities to lag

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Industry commissioner-designate Elżbieta Bieńkowska was questioned at her hearing in front of MEPs today on disparities in regional funding and the need to ensure investment and growth supports our poorest communities.

She was asked what she intends to do to rebalance disparities between the regions of the EU and ensure that growth in the EU benefits all its citizens.

Theresa Griffin MEP, Labour MEP for North-West England and member of the European Parliament industry committee, said:

"The new Commission must make the fight against growing social and territorial inequalities among its top priorities. It must ensure the EU has a developed industrial policy which will enable growth right across our rural and urban communities and throughout the regions of Europe.

"We need to know what specific measures Ms Bieńkowska will take to ensure that disparities between regions in investment and growth are eradicated and that our poorest citizens and young people benefit from quality jobs and growth."

Ms Bieńkowska responded by pledging to work in "cooperation with local authorities but also with minorities or groups that are excluded from mainstream society".

Ms Griffin also asked the commissioner-designate on how best to close both the gender and black and ethnic minority gap in entrepreneurship.

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