State of the Union: European solutions are the answer to the crisis. Joseph Daul MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group
Commenting on the European Commission President's plenary speech on the State of the Union, the Chairman of the EPP Group, Joseph Daul MEP, said that European solutions are the answer to the crisis, underlining the importance of the future banking union in this sense:
"Today, I think we are headed in the right direction. This means that we must continue with further European integration and more tangible reforms. In certain sectors, the banking sector for example, the need for European solutions is clear. Banks are no longer national, they are trans-national. A bank that fails can lead to the failure of the whole system. We mustn't confuse European solidarity with charity. This is why I support the proposal by the European Central Bank to purchase bonds. Because any Member State which benefits from this solidarity must therefore act responsibly. Member States cannot receive this aid without a realistic reform programme. This is the right approach. It is a European approach."
The EPP Group Chairman hailed the positive results of those Member States that have implemented strong reforms: "We know that our solutions are positive and we have examples to prove it. The governments which have made the most reforms in Europe belong to our political family. Because, unlike some, we realised the severity of the situation. We don't need insignificant reforms here and there, we need real reforms. We don't have a choice. For these reforms to succeed, we also need to boost competitiveness and growth."
Joseph Daul called on the European Commission to use its powers on the Member States and to complete the Single Market: "Publish the list of those Member States which have not yet transposed and implemented Directives. Use your power. Governments regularly blame us: they have to assume responsibility! Here's an example: because of red tape, the 23 million European SMEs do not yet have access to all 27 markets. This is why my Group called for a reduction of 50% of the administrative burdens from now until 2015. By doing so, we will be giving European companies the opportunity to create jobs. No country has been able to solve the problem of unemployment alone, particularly youth unemployment. Even if this falls under national competences, it is nevertheless time to find a European solution."
Joseph Daul insisted on having the negotiations on the future Multi Financial Framework concluded by the end of this year: "We have to build a Europe which can face the challenges of the 21st Century. This is why we want the 2014-2020 budget of the Union to be in a plausible, solid and ambitious financial framework. The European budget is not a budget of expenditure, but an investment budget. It is a budget for the future. Let us be serious and ambitious. I call on all those responsible to find a solution before the end of the year."
The Chairman of the largest political Group in the European Parliament underlined the need for more democratic control of EU-level decision-making: "Europe takes decisions every day which touch 500 million Europeans. These decisions should be taken under democratic control, by the only Institution elected by universal suffrage. And that is the European Parliament, the home of democratic legitimacy."
The Chairman of the EPP Group concluded by re-launching his call for a political union: "It is unthinkable to create an economic union without a political union. Our credibility is at stake. Political union is legitimacy. It is more democratic control. It is more participation by our citizens."