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Verhofstadt: "2011 must be a year for decisive action"


12 Jan 2011


EU Priorities 2020

In his New Year message this evening in Brussels, Guy Verhofstadt states that 2011 must be the year when the Union shows leadership and decisive action.

"2010 has been a year of crisis for the EU, in particular for the euro but more broadly in the EU's inability to deal with it decisively which has resulted in market instability and a rise in euroscepticism.

Conversely, 2011 must be the year of action and decision; a credible strengthening of the Stability and Growth pact, the emergence of a eurobond market and genuine convergence of national economic policies.

The EU must also seize the opportunity to strengthen its external action and cohesiveness to uphold and enforce its values abroad and restore its global influence through the new External Action Service.

Fundamentally though, the Union must develop a sense of public space for interaction and involvement of EU citizens as provided for by the Lisbon Treaty of which the Citizen's Initiative will play an important part.

The Union comprises representatives from Member States defending national interests and the European Parliament reflecting the will of the electorate but it is the European Commission that must champion the common interest through its right of initiative.  In so doing it must be vigilant against nationalism and firm in defending the principles and provisions of the Treaties.

The Union must focus on those areas where it can deliver real added value whilst preserving the Community method as the primary means of legislating under the new architecture created by the Lisbon Treaty."


For more information, please contact:
Corlett Neil - Tel: +32 2 284 20 77 Mob: +32 478 78 22 84


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