Irish focus on results the right way to go
The Irish Presidency's determination to achieve real results in terms of job creation and economic growth in its six months in the EU hot seat has been praised by European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič as the correct approach.
"We must use the potential of the Single Market better than ever before," he said during the the European Parliament debate on the Irish Presidency programme in Strasbourg on 16 January. He added that Ireland had also shown how to stimulate economic growth through investment in innovation, research and support for start-ups. "Ireland is the best example of how you can transform a country through these policies. This is the way we need to transform Europe."
But he stressed that Ireland had been successful in this approach because it had invested wisely in these key growth areas. "We need EU investment, we need an EU budget. That's why an MFF [multi-annual financial framework] agreement is crucial…but I'm afraid that cuts called for by some across the board, especially the disproportionate cuts in administration…would bring only small overall savings but would cause long-lasting structural damage to the EU."
V-P Šefčovič also echoed the calls from President Barroso earlier in the debate for progress on key dossiers, including moving ahead with the legislative process to create the single supervisory mechanism for banks already agreed last year and starting work on the other pillars of European banking union, such as a single resolution mechanism to help break the link between bank debts and sovereign debts.