Schulz to EU leaders: Long term good but don’t forget short term
By Gaspard Sebag | Thursday 28 June 2012
European Parliament President Martin Schulz told EU leaders they have a “historic responsibility” to come up with a “convincing response to the debt crisis and set a course for growth”. In an implicit nod to German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of a summit, on 28-29 June, he welcomed the long-term solutions on the table (political and fiscal union) but reminded that short-term measures should also be taken.
Schulz welcomed the proposals in view of strengthening the economic and monetary union put on the table by the presidents of the European Council, Commission, Central Bank and Eurogroup earlier this week. “But plans for the day after tomorrow, however important they may be, should not distract us from the pressing challenges of today,” he said.
In that respect, Schulz believes that concluding an interinstitutional agreement setting out a series of practical measures to address the crisis would demonstrate the EU’s ability to act. That way, the Union could make progress on long-standing demands from Parliament: a banking union, a timetable for the introduction of eurobonds, more project bonds and measures to combat tax havens amongst other things. He also urged EU leaders to consider granting the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) a banking licence and drew their attention to the growth potential that policies to develop a sustainable economy and eco-innovation offer.
The EP president insisted that it is “essential” that his institution be involved to guarantee both the democratic legitimacy and the quality of the measures taken. “Parliamentarianism must not be trampled underfoot in the stampede to save the euro,” he said, making an explicit reference to the EP’s exclusion from the drafting of the ‘fiscal compact’ and from participating in the work toward a reinforced political union.