V-P Šefčovič in Berlin for talks on economic governance and European Summit
A busy day in Berlin on Thursday gave European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič the opportunity to discuss the ongoing euro crisis with MPs and other senior government figures ahead of this month's European summit.
V-P Šefčovič's first meeting was with Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief European policy advisor, Nickolaus Mayer-Landraut, with whom he discussed preparations for the Summit, agreeing in particular on the need to focus the debate on boosting growth and jobs.
This was followed by equally fruitful discussions with MPs Peer Steinbrück and Michael Meister on the euro crisis. Steinbrück is a former German finance minister and senior SPD party member, while Meister is the finance spokesman for the CDU, and both MPs shared VP Šefčovič's determination to find a lasting solution to the crisis, and that Germany, as the eurozone's biggest economy, will have a key part to play in that process.
The Commissioner concluded his visit to Berlin by attending the meeting of the European affairs committee of the Bundestag for a discussion on the role of national parliaments and the European Parliament in the European Semester. He stressed in particular how the new system of economic governance agreed with Member States will need greater cooperation with parliaments if it is to work effectively.
He also outlined the further steps that the Commission believes are needed to help restore growth in Europe, such as the development of project bonds, increasing the EIB's lending capacity, deepening economic and monetary union and creating a banking union. Other areas where successful reforms could lead to renewed growth include the labour market, financial sector, energy and child care facilities. The V-P also discussed the country-specific recommendations for Germany recently published by the Commission and praised the country for its successful efforts towards fiscal consolidation and reducing excessive deficit.