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26 June 2012

European summit: EESC president urges decision on master plan for Europe

For Staffan Nilsson, European Economic and Social Committee president, the moment of truth has come: "This is the final round for the euro and European integration", he said.

For EESC president Staffan Nilsson the moment of truth has come: “This is the final round for the euro and European integration; this time it cannot be just one more European summit because people have lost faith. Either the eurozone - with Europe in its wake - will make the quantum leap in integration or it will break apart.” Since the Lehman brothers bankruptcy, the EESC has been calling for more European integration as the only appropriate response to the crisis. Now, after years of intergovernmentalism in Europe and with too many small, half-hearted steps, only a true master plan with a clear roadmap attached can save Europe from disintegration and disorder and pave the way for sustainable growth and employment.

Mr Nilsson sees some reason for optimism: agreement is emerging on the necessary steps towards a financial or banking union with a common deposit guarantee scheme, a common resolution fund and EU-wide supervision. This will be an essential building block for breaking the vicious circle of weak banks and weak public finances in certain Member States. Also, the joint call by France, Germany, Italy and Spain for a growth package worth up to €130 billion would show that less rigid positions are gaining ground in the austerity-growth paradox.

More political vision, leadership and resolve, however, will be needed by all Members States, not only those in the eurozone. There is one united Europe, not two.

On the other hand, eurozone members in particular must agree on a fiscal union based on joint debt instruments such as eurobonds. A practical roadmap for introducing these instruments must be adopted and a change in rhetoric is needed: at this summit, all eurozone members must clearly agree to enough Europeanisation of national debt to end any speculation about the future path that the eurozone will take. And with this commitment, the future political architecture of the eurozone and Europe must be reformed. “We need eurobonds to end the sovereign debt crisis, and we need more political integration to have eurobonds. One cannot go without the other. What we really need is to take democracy to a new level. Now.”

Press release

© European Parliament

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