Friday, October 07, 2011

Europe: No treaty taboos for German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing Euro crisis

Source: European Parliament

After a meeting in Brussels with European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, and the leaders of Parliament's seven political groups, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that treaty changes shouldn't be a taboo when it comes to measures needed to tackle the current Euro crisis.

Mrs Merkel was in Brussels on Wednesday, 5 October to meet EU leaders for discussions of the ongoing debt crisis and reforms to economic governance in the European Union. President Jerzy Buzek thanked her for Germany's role as "a rock of stability in the storms of the financial crisis". He said that the "Bundestag's approval of the European Financial Stabilisation Fund is a sign of confidence in your leadership and the EU's ability to manage the crisis".

Buzek added that Parliament was prepared to do everything necessary to solve the crisis and evoked "fast track legislation" better to cope with the rapid pace of change in financial markets.

"This crisis is a chance to improve what is not working in the EU", Merkel said, adding that changing the EU Treaties should not be a taboo if more power for Europe was necessary.

Asked about Parliament's role in a new economic governance system for Europe, Merkel responded that this was the EU's job when it concerned the single market. "But there have always been areas of national responsibility - taxes, social systems, salaries - here we should coordinate better. We don't want to circumvent the European Parliament, we will inform it, but competence remains with national parliaments."

Just a week ago, the European Parliament agreed the so-called "six-pack" of legislative initiatives for improved economic governance in Europe. After long negotiations, MEPs convinced member states to accept a stronger role of the Commission. Eurozone members will no longer be able simply to ignore Commission warnings to correct their budgetary policies.