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Mixed prognosis for EU project as it turns 60 #FutureEU

Press Release

Friday 17 Feb 2017

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed mixed feelings over a raft of proposals from the European Parliament to shape the future of the European Union.

Speaking from Strasbourg after the vote on the proposals, addressed at the Member States and the Commission, Ms. Childers said:

“The EU’s response to the popular upheaval sweeping western democracy should lean much more strongly on the side of social cohesion to improve the lot of the majority of our citizens.

“Yet, the conservative forces which dominate policymaking in Europe remain stuck with the pre-crisis worldviews that were employed to solve the crisis they hatched themselves.

“This has got us mired in contradictions between national interests and those that would benefit us all, and in confusion between symptoms and causes of the crisis.

“What should be clear is that those who have suffered the brunt were the least responsible for it, and that public resources where by and large depleted to prop up the financial and banking sectors, who promptly exploited the Eurozone’s flaws to profit from a public debt crisis of their own making.

“Progressive-minded colleagues are pushing hard to make sure we have the fiscal firepower to counter some of the contradictions and economic forces that have been pulling EU countries in different directions.

“Yet conservatives persist in equating European cooperation to the tightening of screws on budgetary governance, with arbitrary limits that tie our hands to stimulus which are tantamount to a constitutional ban on Keynesian-style economic policy.

“We are swallowing far too much medicine for far too little treatment in Europe today, and we will fail ourselves our younger generations by depriving them of present prospects and future hope.

“Our economies are structured in diverse ways, and faith with a one-size-fits all formula for a currency with no resources to absorb shocks has failed us before and after the crisis.

“We cannot expect citizens to embrace or even see further leaps in integration as legitimate if we don’t make way for shared prosperity, rather than exacerbate current tensions in the pursuit of Mr. Schäuble’s divisive orthodoxy.”

For more information: Parliament sets out its vision for the future of Europe

(European Parliament media release)