“More Europe, not less Europe”

In Copenhagen debate, José Manuel Barroso and Helle Thorning-Schmidt say member states may have created their own mess but the only way out is together

April 24th, 2012 11:13 am| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

The EU should not take the blame for the economic crisis in the individual member states.

That was one of the main points of Monday’s meeting between the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt on the future of the EU at the University of Copenhagen.

“The crisis was not created at a European level, but was basically created because the member states didn’t keep their own house in order,” Thorning-Schmidt said, arguing that “the lesson is that what each individual country chooses to do will affect the rest and our solutions must be carried out in co-ordination with one another.”

Barroso said that is easy to blame the EU for the crisis – pointing to the perceived snowball effect of the problems in Italy and Greece – but the fact is that the crisis began in the individual countries. But to get out of the crisis, he said, the member states must stick together and both co-operate and make compromises.

According to Thorning-Schmidt, that is already happening.

“The actions over the last months have shown that the EU is wiling to act together and act in solidarity,” she said.

She dismissed the recent criticism levelled at the EU that it hasn’t taken concrete action.

“Look at the fiscal compact, the new bailout program for Greece, the strengthening of the firewall and the structure reforms on the way – all these are actions where we have shown that we are capable of acting together,” she said.

Both Thorning-Schmidt and Barroso rejected the notion that the current crisis calls for signifcantly changing the EU. Both leaders argued that countries can’t get out of the crisis alone, and that EU member states need to stick together and have clear and concrete initiatives.

Barroso said that this was particularly true for smaller countries.

“Member states will face irrelevance if they don’t agree to a stronger union,” he said, arguing the need for ”more Europe not less Europe.”

He said the EU needed to focus on economic growth and job creation.

“If Europe wants to prosper in the future and maintain our values, our social models, and our political environment, we need to invest now in the changes that will ensure what we call ‘smart, inclusive and sustainable growth’ in the future,” he said. “And we must do it together.”

The opening of the festival's main stage is viewed as an esteemed honour by many (photo: Bill Ebbesen)
Syrian National Orchestra to open Roskilde Festival
The Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music with Damon Albarn and g...
The wind turbine manufacturer expects to make at least 67 billion kroner in revenue this year (photo: Samir Luther)
Vestas announces another strong annual result
Vestas shares surged 10 percent today after the company announced a record...
Payment will be made using the vehicle's number-plate (photo: kk.dk)
Copenhagen ushering in digital parking throughout the city
In a bid to make it easier and more flexible for motorists to park in the c...
The Veteran Council will be open both to soldiers and humanitarian workers returning from a mission (photo: iStock)
Municipalities to support returnees from war and disaster zones
The municipalities of Gladsaxe, Herlev and Ballerup are opening Denmark's f...
Support the traditional Danish drinking establishments this month (photo: Tuborg)
Celebrating the old-style bodega with a round on the house every Friday in February
In a bid to give Denmark's struggling old-style bodegas a helping hand, Tub...
Unfortunately, the meteorite hasn't been recorded on camera directly. (photo: iStock)
Meteorite landing site located in Greater Copenhagen area
The Natural History Museum has established that the meteorite that hit Denm...