Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-06-22-Speech-3-169-000"

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". − Mr President, if one thing is clear, it is that Europe needs a solid foundation in order to prevent a new euro crisis in the future and to ensure sustainable economic growth. Our group, the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), is satisfied with the results we have achieved so far in the legislative package on economic governance. I would like to extend my warm thanks to all the Members, rapporteurs, shadow rapporteurs, employees, staff and everyone for the many hours we have spent together in order to achieve this because, in exercising its powers, the European Parliament has taken a firm and ambitious position. I would like to thank the Hungarian Presidency, and in particular András Kámán, for the efforts put in to bridging the differences between the Council and Parliament. Indeed, you personally have made it possible for us to reach a 98% agreement, partly thanks to the helpful support of Commissioner Rehn and his staff. This is an excellent result, but it was not an easy one to achieve. Tomorrow, we will be voting on the reports. My group is strongly committed to building on the high level of agreement that we have reached. I hope that we will be able to bridge the last differences over the next few weeks so that we can finalise an agreement before the summer. This is very important, because my group is striving for a final vote in the plenary in July. The turmoil in the financial markets continues and we urgently need to find a solution to the debt crisis in several countries. However, it is just as urgent – and therein now lies our task as co-legislator – that Europe demonstrates strong decision making in terms of an ambitious stability pact and economic governance. Reaching a decision the summer is crucial to restoring confidence in the euro, given that the Stability and Growth Pact was being broken as early as 2003. Instead of the rules being enforced, they were simply liberalised and we now need to put a stop to that. This is about credible legislation, not behind-the-scenes negotiations between Member States aimed at avoiding penalties. If Member States fail to take effective action in order to meet their commitments and reduce their deficits – and these are commitments, remember, that they have undertaken of their own free will – then decision-making must be effective. That is why this House has proposed the reverse voting procedure. Let us face it, the magic formula of our fellow Members on the left, the golden rule, will not deliver the solution. Unfortunately, money does not grow on trees and the days of easy solutions and painless choices are now behind us. That is why the PPE Group is calling for sustainable public finances and for 5 or 6% budget deficits not to be permitted. A debt burden – the painful evidence of which we are witnessing – stands in the way of economic growth, not only in our European countries, but also in the United States. We need a solid foundation, and that is why I am pleased that the Council will exercise the preventive arm of the proposals, namely to ensure that Member States strengthen their own national responsibilities and involve their national parliaments in the process, clear deadlines, procedures and inspection visits, more public reports, peer pressure and public debates in this House rather than in the confines of the Council. Obviously, the European semester is an important achievement, because we want jobs and growth. We are facing an important and historic day. Tomorrow, in the House, we will stand ready to shoulder our responsibilities. I see that the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament and the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance want to put a spanner in the works. It seems that they only want to work in a spirit of compromise when it comes to their own reports. Mr President, that is no spirit of compromise. I would like to call on all Members who consider sustainable public finances important to support these six reports tomorrow. They are not the final outcome, because tomorrow we will be taking a step towards consulting with the Council on how we can clear these last hurdles on our way to – what will hopefully be – an agreement in July."@en1

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