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Wiener Zeitung - Austria | Thursday, October 24, 2013

Europe must finally become a social union

At the EU summit taking place today, Thursday, the main topic on the agenda of the heads of state and government is plans for a banking union. But Angela Merkel's proposal for a European "competitiveness pact" urgently needs to be revised, the state-owned liberal daily Wiener Zeitung urges: "The present proposal is a just a façade. It is based on bilateral agreements between member states and the European Commission. The European Parliament, democratically legitimated like no other EU institution, barely plays a role here. And that is a pretty glaring flaw in the whole fabric. ... The next flaw is the lack of social definitions for this competitiveness pact. The European Commission doesn't intervene when unemployment exceeds a certain level, but only acts on budget deficits - or in the case of the competitiveness pact - when the age of retirement is too low. That's okay, but it's not enough. Europe must become a competitive social union - anything else is just self-delusion."

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