Europe needs an 'economic government'

Herman Van Rompuy (SUPPLIED)

The European Union's new President, Herman Van Rompuy, is calling for an "economic government" for the bloc, with closer policy co-ordination and financial incentives for good performers.

"The crisis has revealed our weaknesses," the former Belgian prime minister said in a statement entitled.

"A European strategy for growth and jobs" prepared for an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday.

At present, individual European nations "are responsible for the economic strategy of their government. They should do the same at EU level", he said.

"Whether it is called coordination of policies or economic government," only the European nations working are "capable of delivering and sustaining a common European strategy for more growth and more jobs", he underlined.

The statement comes with Greece's deficit crisis as the backdrop. Spain, Portugal, Ireland and others are also in budgetary trouble. "Recent developments in the euro area highlight the urgent need to strengthen our economic governance," he added.

The evocation of a European "economic government" will please France which has lobbied in this direction for years without success. However, Germany, Britain and others remain opposed to such a plan.

 

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