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EESC President’s Declaration in response to the financial crisis: We must exit the crisis and get the EU back on track

In light of the financial crisis and the budgetary situation in some EU Member States, the President of the European Economic and Social Committee:

- expresses deep concern about the current situation, wants to see substantive action by the president of the European Commission and the Member States to address the threat currently weighing on Europe. The Committee’s President calls for the measures intended to ensure a return to inclusive and sustainable growth and already agreed by the European Union institutions and the Member States to be applied;

- reiterates its confidence in the euro as a political venture that is vital to the future of the European Union and gives its full support to an enhanced European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism and to restoring own resources for the European budget, in particular a tax on financial transactions;

- recognises the need for structural reforms in the Member States and supports the European Commission's key and expanding role in providing back-up and guidance, especially with respect to the euro-area members facing the greatest difficulties and taking account of the need to guarantee the future of the European social market economy. Dialogue with the social partners and respect for their autonomy are vital and necessary for these reforms;

- strongly urges the European Union and its leaders to announce, without delay, significant measures to strengthen the European Union's economic governance. At the same time, it is vital to strengthen European political and economic integration. An ambitious investment and employment support policy is needed, the future must be prepared for generations to come and the most vulnerable social groups must be protected. Structural reform alone is not a solution and risks pushing Europe headlong into a period of recession;

- is convinced that the EESC members, together with social, economic and civil society stakeholders must join forces to play a pro-active role in this new drive to get Europe moving again. These are the best ways to recover a competitive, social and sustainable Europe;

- advocates the launch of Eurobonds in order, among other things, to give a boost to investments, and any instruments that will affirm solidarity within the European Union and give proof of the EU's political commitment to the irreversibility of the euro.

The President of the European Economic and Social Committee is pledged to a strong, sustainable Europe that is a source of hope for its people.

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