Sustainable growth and employment will come only through fiscal, financial and political union
For EESC president Staffan Nilsson the moment of truth has come: “This is the final round for the euro and European integration; this time it cannot be just one more European summit because people have lost faith. Either the eurozone - with Europe in its wake - will make the quantum leap in integration or it will break apart.” Since the Lehmann brothers bankruptcy, the EESC has been calling for more European integration as the only appropriate response to the crisis. Now, after years of intergovernmentalism in Europe and with too many small, half-hearted steps, only a true master plan with a clear roadmap attached can save Europe from disintegration and disorder and pave the way for sustainable growth and employment.
Mr Nilsson sees some reason for optimism: agreement is emerging on the necessary steps towards a financial or banking union with a common deposit guarantee scheme, a common resolution fund and EU-wide supervision. This will be an essential building block for breaking the vicious circle of weak banks and weak public finances in certain Member States. Also, the joint call by France, Germany, Italy and Spain for a growth package worth up to €130 billion would show that less rigid positions are gaining ground in the austerity-growth paradox.