Minister of State Werner Hoyer issued the following statement today (1 October) on the steps necessary to overcome the European debt crisis and ways of strengthening Europe’s competitiveness:
“As Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle rightly stated in an article published in today’s Süddeutsche Zeitung, we must not limit ourselves to striving at the national level to overcome the current crisis. Europe as a whole needs to emerge stronger from this crisis. This calls for, among other things, the development of a mechanism to prevent comparable crises from occurring in the future. This can only be achieved if we are willing to strengthen the European level and establish a system that includes not only a mechanism providing early warning of unfavourable economic developments, but also means of intervention.
There can be no doubt that we have to make our national budgets and the euro area’s economic policies fit to face crises. This requires binding rules for Member States’ debt limits as well as mandatory investment in strengthening our competitiveness, both elements controlled and, if necessary, subject to sanctions by the European Community. We now need to summon the courage to introduce at long last the necessary level of economic and financial policy coordination which was unachievable when the euro was introduced by the Maastricht Treaty, and which remained an obstacle to all Treaty revisions since.
A new attempt to improve the European Treaties in order to achieve more stability for European budgets should not be demonized but rather regarded as the right answer to the causes of this crisis. And we should not be discouraged by the fact that past Treaty revisions fell short of expectations. If all else fails, the euro area states must take the lead in this matter.”