'A stronger union, using the potential of the Treaties to the max'
Europe will do whatever it must to bring stronger economic governance and a return to economic growth, Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said on Tuesday.
"What are the next steps that need to be taken if we want a stronger Europe, and how far can we go? Well, my experience of the last two years tells me that the sky is the limit," he told delegates at the Step up for Europe conference organised by the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.
"We need to act now to stabilise the eurozone, exit the crisis, consolidate economic governance and boost growth and jobs. These will be the top priorities for the Commission for the rest of its mandate. This, I believe, will be the true legacy of this Commission: a stronger union, using the potential of the Treaties to the max;" V-P Šefčovič said.
He warned against the "flirtation" with inter-governmentalism, stressing that the Community approach, with concerted EU-wide action coordinated by the European Commission and supported by all Member States, was the only way to achieve these goals.
And making sure that Europe exits stronger from the crisis than ever before will be vital for the future development of European integration: the federation of nation states proposed by President José Manuel Barroso in his State of the Union speech in early September will bring a proper political dimension to the new European structures for economic, monetary, budgetary and fiscal integration, and "the next Parliament and Commission will have the political task of bringing it to fruition", V-P Šefčovič said.
"Whether they can achieve this will depend in large part on the overall political atmosphere in the EU – and that in turn will depend on whether we can succeed in our current job" of creating economic growth and jobs.