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Guy Verhofstadt has written an open letter to the new permanent President of the European Council arguing the case that now is the moment to seize the initiative for closer and more concerted EU action, with the European Commission playing a central role.
“The message from the past few months is that the European Union is failing to achieve its goals through a lack of unity and integrated approach. The informal EU summit next week on the 11th February is a golden opportunity to seize an opportunity out of the crisis.
“EU Heads of Government will be evaluating the performance of the European Union at the climate change talks in Copenhagen, in the delivery of humanitarian aid to Haiti and in responding to the economic and financial crisis. In each of these cases EU coordinated action and forward planning has been lacking.”
“The logical conclusion is that EU Member States need to set aside their natural tendencies to go it alone and commit themselves to a more unified and integrated approach to problem solving, whether on climate change, economic recovery or delivery of humanitarian aid.”
“The Lisbon Treaty provides us with the tools for achieving more together as a Union than our Member States can achieve alone. What is still not evident is the political will of Member States to loosen the tight reins on national economic policy and recognise that we are all in the same boat together. We do not need to harmonise our rules and habits of a lifetime but we do need to converge onto the same course.”
“If the current economic crisis has taught us anything, it is of the need for a common approach to economic policy, to public finances, to banking supervision and bonuses, to environmental legislation etc. Businesses need a stable legal and macro economic framework in which to thrive and invest. A Single Market and a Single Currency inevitably require some common approaches to broader macro-economic policy planning.”