BBA: Five priorities for the EU
Monday 16 January 2012 - by Angela Knight
The European Union faces some major decisions later this month. The eurozone currency crisis is just one of the problems facing the union as it works to restore financial stability and begin the process of economic recovery.
- Developing stabilisation tools to address short term challenges;
- Maintaining the single market across the EU, with a renewed focus on growth;
- Reforming financial regulation on the basis of evidence, carefully calibrated and in step with the international community; and
- Demonstrating budgetary discipline in the European institutions themselves.
- Underlying all of these is the need to test all public policy decisions against the single goal of economic growth.
The eurozone crisis is the biggest single challenge facing the EU, and perhaps the biggest danger to the global economy.
The need for decisive progress on this is imperative. But that does not mean the policymakers should choose now as the time to make unrelated changes to the EU Treaty in respect of financial regulation and other aspects of the single market.
Last month's European Council meeting concerned itself not only with resolving the eurozone crisis but also creating a new common legal framework for the single market (including financial regulation, labour markets and taxes).
The outcome was inevitably confusion: a discussion that was meant to be concentrated on measures to resolve the eurozone crisis spilt over into other issues which could have waited for another day.
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