Press releases

Comments on 11 March informal meeting of the Euro area Heads of State or Government

10 March 2011

Brussels, 10 March 2011     For immediate release

Prior to the informal meeting of the Euro area Heads of State or Government in Brussels on 11 March, the EPC issued the following comments:

Competitiveness: Independent assessment essential
Fabian Zuleeg, EPC Chief Economist: “The delivery of commitments in the framework of the EU’s new economic governance model, including the Competitiveness Pact, must be monitored publicly and objectively. Peer review within the (European) Council is not enough: the best way forward would be if concrete assessments are carried out by an independent group of ‘economic wise men and women’ able to provide objective and expert direction with the Commission providing the supporting data on the economic performance of Member States.”

Further information  +32 (0)2 286 1191

Eurozone rules: Future Eurozone countries should agree the ground rules
Janis Emmanouilidis, EPC Senior Policy Analyst, and Fabian Zuleeg, EPC Chief Economist: “Summits which affect the ground rules for Economic and Monetary Union should not exclude future Eurozone countries. The new Member States were obliged to sign up to the Euro when joining the EU and will have to adhere to the new rules when they eventually join the common currency - changing the rules of the game without them is inherently unfair and shortsighted.”

Further information +32 (0)2 286 0886  +32 (0)2 286 1191

Market pressure: A rescue for Portugal could deter speculation
Janis Emmanouilidis, EPC Senior Policy Analyst, and Fabian Zuleeg, EPC Chief Economist: “European leaders should not become complacent. On the contrary, markets have high expectations and the crisis could re-emerge if the EU is not able to deliver sound results by the end of March. Postponing major decisions could disrupt the markets once again and actually increase costs in case further support in the periphery of Europe is required. Something is needed now which is pre-emptive and gives markets certainty that Portugal will be assisted if debt-financing costs continue to increase. A rescue of Portugal, which is doable in the current framework, could help deter speculation and put a stop to any domino effect.”

Further information  +32 (0)2 286 0886  +32 (0)2 286 1191

Economic governance: New rules will fail if long-term problems are not resolved
Hans Martens, EPC Chief Executive and Fabian Zuleeg, EPC Chief Economist: “The new rules of economic governance will fail if the new model does not solve Europe’s long term problems: low growth rates and increasing economic divergence in the euro zone. The EU needs to encourage economic growth, moving beyond the single-minded focus on fiscal discipline by fostering investment in the weakest economies and by implementing structural reforms in the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy.”

Further information  +32 (0)2 286 1190  +32 (0)2 286 1191

Future governance: A narrow focus on national interests threatens stability
Janis Emmanouilidis, EPC Senior Policy Analyst: “Negotiations over the future model of economic governance are increasingly characterised by a narrow focus on national interests, driven largely by domestic political considerations. There seems little will to understand each other’s positions. Decision makers have to recognize that this narrow focus endangers the stability and functioning of Economic and Monetary Union, which is a genuine public good, benefitting all Member States and determining Europe’s future role in global economic governance.”

Further information  +32 (0)2 286 0886


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