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Speech at the Alpbach Economic Symposium 2012

The crisis we are facing today constitutes an existential threat for both the Eurozone and the EU. It is obvious that no easy political or economic remedies exist. Although the crisis emerged around 2008 and escalated in 2010, its roots go back to the formation of the common currency: yesterday’s inadequate institutional architecture and the national mismanagement especially in the countries of the periphery, continues to haunt the policy decisions of today.

It is not possible to overcome the crisis without a political union. The current financial crisis should be addressed with a single coordinated strategy and the European Union needs a political union as much as it does an economic one, if not even more so.

European political union would be based on four pillars:

  1. The Community method (expansion in more policy areas)
  2. The right of initiative of the European Commission (central role-decision making has shifted from European Commission meetings to meetings between the political leaders of mainly two countries: Germany and France or sometimes between four countries: Germany-France-Spain and Italy. Today the model is counter institutional, since the power has moved to the national authorities, especially to Germany and France. We all understand the potency of those countries that were the leading forces in Europe but we cannot discuss about Europe in this way.)
  3. Democratic legitimacy and accountability
  4. A new raison d’ etre for Europe constituted by a moral part (European principles and values), by a practical part (projects that unite Europe) and a leading role to the international area of political influence since power is moving from the West to the East.)

 The EU needs a central coordination of public finances. As Mr. Van Rompuy stressed out in his report in June, the EU needs:

  1. An integrated financial framework.
  2. An integrated budgetary framework.
  3. An integrated economic policy framework.
  4. Ensuring the necessary democratic legitimacy and accountability of decision-making within the EMU.

Finally, I believe it needs wide European Investment Project concerning the cooperation of the PPP (private public partnership) for the major networks of:

  1. Transportation (road, river, rail and aviation networks)
  2. Telecommunication
  3. Energy
  4. This investment will give a boost to the economy and will create a feeling of belonging among European citizens.
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Anna Diamantopoulou, 2012. Content is distributed with a CC A-NC-ND-Gr-3.0 licence

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