Wednesday, September 12, 2012

José Manuel Barroso: Political and fiscal union are the only way Forward for Europe

Ambitious proposals for a federal Europe were spelt out yesterday by the European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, in a controversial speech which argued that deeper political and fiscal union were the only ways of preventing future crises in the eurozone.

In an impassioned address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, delivered only minutes before Germany's constitutional court approved the eurozone's permanent bailout fund, Mr Barroso attempted to counter Eurosceptic criticism by insisting that he was not calling for a "European super-state".

However, the head of the EU's executive arm added that "we will need to move towards a federation of nation states. This is our political horizon. This is what must guide our work in the years to come." Although he admitted that such a shift could only be completed under a new EU treaty, Mr Barroso blamed the euro crisis on the lack of political cohesion within the European Union, which he said had served only to undermine the currency bloc's credibility among Europe's citizens and on the financial markets.

The crisis, he concluded, had revealed the need for a "leap forward" in political integration to complement current moves to harmonise EU economic and fiscal policies. Europe, he insisted, needed a "democratic federation of nation states that can tackle our common problems, through the sharing of sovereignty in a way that each country and its citizens are better equipped to control their own destiny". Read More