S&D Euro MPs today welcomed the European Commission’s proposals to reform the eurozone and urged the EU member states to take action without delay.
In a contribution, the S&D Group sets out key priorities for reform, based on a strong social dimension, a proper budget, an ambitious sustainable investment strategy and the completion of the banking and the capital markets union. These reforms should be supported by a stronger role for the European Parliament and national parliaments and the appointment of a Commission vice-president as finance minister.
S&D Group vice-president responsible for the economic and social model Udo Bullmann MEP said:
"The Commission has done a good job analysing the weaknesses of the economic and monetary union and has drawn convincing conclusions that should be acted upon. We welcome that the Commission seems to have understood how inequalities and social divergence are tearing the euro apart. Brushing aside such social concerns and focusing on fiscal and monetary aspects would make the overhaul of the euro a failure from the start. We are pleased that the Commission has avoided this mistake and is proposing a viable and balanced approach to eurozone reform.
"Years of blind austerity have created disillusion and mistrust. To regain the trust of our citizens, we need to see a stronger and more resilient economic and monetary union (EMU). The eurozone has to become much more effective in reaching the goal of full, quality employment everywhere in the Union.
"We also need a change of spirit. In recent years, Europe has been perceived as the bogeyman handing out mainly bad marks to naughty kids. To fight this perception, the euro must deliver on its promise of improving people’s lives by fostering sustainable growth and upward social convergence. Today, the Commission has presented proposals that have the power to deliver on citizen’s expectations.
"It is now on the member states to answer this call. We urge them to take responsibility and to complete the EMU with the necessary social, fiscal and budgetary policy capabilities.
"There is no room for complacency at a time of a rising populism on both sides of the Atlantic."