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Almunia, Joaquín

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El País - Spain | 27/10/2009

Joaquín Almunia on European economic integration

In the opinion of Joaquín Almunia, EU Commissioner responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs, the process of European economic integration should not be blighted by an insistence on maintaining the status quo. In the left-liberal daily El País he writes: "On the surface the European Central Bank (ECB) plays its role and is present at all forums, but meanwhile the dissemination of government representatives - in the IMF, the G7 or the G20 - weakens the defence of European positions in so far as they exist or simply prevents the EU from maintaining a coherent stance. This is a risk Europe cannot afford to take. Now that the Treaty of Lisbon is about to finally clear the last hurdle before taking effect, those who are trying to torpedo a response to the crisis that is based on increased European cooperation should be aware that the alternative is not the status quo but a step backwards in terms of what has been achieved in economic integration since the 1980s. And those from beyond our borders who want to talk to the people responsible for the strategy for overcoming the crisis in the European Union need to know which number they should dial."

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