2011: Between Fear and Hope
At a time when discontent against the Euro is becoming increasingly vocal and on the eve of the December 2010 European Council, Notre Europe is more than ever concerned about the Union’s economic situation. The think tank, through its presidents, stresses the importance of the single currency, a true source of protection for the EU.
Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, President of Notre Europe and former Italian Finance Minister, spoke on the eve of the European Council in an exclusive interview, recalling that though the crisis of 2010 has struck the Euro zone hard, it was, nevertheless, able to respond. He encourages the European Council to complete the stabilization measures through measures that boost growth, because "without European growth in the future, stability is not possible."
Though Europe was able to avoid the worst in 2010, the new challenges that lie ahead can be met only at 27. New measures should enable the Union to get back on track and to protect itself from future crises: first, the establishment of the "European semester" of 2011, which will allow the Finance Ministers of the 27 to coordinate their economic policies and to monitor potential budgetary imbalances and subsequently, the continuation, after 2013, of the European Stabilization Fund.
Jacques Delors, founding president of Notre Europe, in a long interview with the newspaper Le Monde on December 8, emphasized the Euro’s positive outcomes. Indeed, "the euro has allowed Europe to know ten years of acceptable growth of 2.1%, but also 15% growth of new jobs and an investment rate of 22%, the highest since 1990.” For Jacques Delors, one must believe in the future of the Euro while remaining pragmatic: "for the Eurozone to work, it is imperative that the spirit of cooperation be the equal of the spirit of competition." Ultimately, as Jacques Delors has always observed, our Europe must be based on a simple equation: competition that stimulates, cooperation that strengthens, and solidarity that unites.