Foreign Minister Westerwelle on the Pew survey on Europe: we must now resolutely press ahead with structural modernization in Europe

14.05.2013 - Press release

According to the survey, Europeans in many countries are pessimistic about the future; trust in European institutions has declined significantly. Westerwelle expressed concern over this trend, but at the same time he sees a great opportunity in the crisis. He has called for structural reform in Europe so that all can profit quickly from the economic upturn.

“I am very concerned by the recent opinion polls on Europeans’ views about their future and the role played by the process of European integration. Many people in Europe are losing faith in the joint European project. Especially in countries where people have been hit hard by the effects of the crisis, people are losing confidence in a better future for themselves and their children. There have seldom been such great discrepancies in how people view the situation, even between Germany and France.
Germany cannot flourish in the long term if our European neighbours fare poorly. We Europeans share a common destiny. In the globalized world of the 21st century, we can only defend our European way of life, our freedom, our diversity and our prosperity if we stick together.
The year 2013 is the decisive year in overcoming our difficulties. More than ever before, we must fight resolutely against the wide-spread feeling of impotence caused by the crisis. We must turn the corner to a better future. The crisis is also a great opportunity. We must maintain our momentum in pursuing reforms. We must dismantle the structures that have led to unacceptable youth unemployment in many countries. We need policies that promote growth and competitiveness. We need a sustained recovery of public finances all over Europe. The more determined we are in modernizing structures in Europe now, the faster and more tangibly will we all benefit from the economic upturn.
We Germans have a special responsibility because we are now doing well and because we have a significantly more positive view of the economic situation. That is a welcome consequence of our country’s strong competitiveness, but it is also something that obliges us to demonstrate solidarity with our European partners and to be extremely careful how we deal with the crisis.
Germany has a good reputation and enjoys great trust. That must not change.”

According to the Pew survey, faith in European institutions has significantly declined. People in many European countries are pessimistic about their country’s economic prospects. There are big differences in how Europe’s situation is seen. In Germany most people are confident; in other European countries people are very worried. The Pew report you can find here:

Related content

Top of page