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European Council: preserve the Community method. Joseph Daul MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group


13 Dec 2011

"By adopting strict rules for the return to a balanced budget and the reduction of public debt, 26 Member States out of 27 have proven their willingness to return to sound financial policy and have shown their spirit of responsibility", said the Chairman of the EPP Group in a debate on the outcome of the European Council summit of 8-9 December.

"By deciding on their major economic policy decisions together, by developing emergency mechanisms to be implemented by the ECB, 26 Member States out of 27 have understood that shared sovereignty is better than sovereignty taken hostage by the markets."

Still, three questions remain unanswered: what will the nature of the new provisions be? What is the UK's place in Europe and the stance of the other 26 Member States towards it? And finally, there is the essential component of 'growth' in our economic policy.

"Because the United Kingdom refused to be associated with the decision of its counterparts, the draft Treaty will not be, as we had wished, a Community project, but an intergovernmental one. This situation presents us with a number of not only legal, but political problems. In the discussions leading to the drafting of new provisions between now and March, my Group wants everything to be done to involve the European Institutions in the negotiations, and in particular that the Parliament plays its rightful role to ensure the democratic legitimacy of the process."

"The second major issued raised by the decision on 9 December is the place of the United Kingdom in Europe. Clearly, the isolation of the British shows that their coalition government sees the European Union as a mere free-trade area, without any consideration for solidarity and responsibility towards its partners. In this context, I believe that the British rebate should be put into question. Our taxpayers' money should be used for things other than rewarding selfish and nationalistic attitudes."

Finally, Joseph Daul said that if we cannot have growth without putting public finances in order, then the Union must now tackle the challenge of strengthening and expanding its industrial activities, its exports and competitivity, with the same energy and in the same coordinated way. "Europe will not exit the crisis in a way which is sustainable without the double, radical action of sound management on one hand and growth on the other", concluded Joseph Daul.

Joseph Daul's speech in plenary

(Translation from the original French)

For further information:

Joseph DAUL MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group, Tel: +33-3-88175525

Antoine Ripoll, Chairman's Spokesman, Tel: +32-475-856290

Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 272 Members.