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2009 Annual statement on the euro area

The euro-area economy is still suffering from the unprecedented global financial and economic crisis which began in the second half of 2008. The 2009 annual statement on the euro area (ASEA), with its accompanying annual report, analyses the current situation and proposes a way forward towards a sustainable recovery

Although signs of economic stabilisation are emerging, the strength and resilience of the recovery has yet to be fully tested. But it is clear that the euro efficiently shielded the euro area from the exchange rate and interest rate turbulences that had proved damaging for Member States in episodes of financial market stress in the past.

>> 2009 Annual report on the euro area pdf (5 MB) Choose translations of the previous link pdf

>> 2009 Annual Statement on the euro area - COM(2009)527 pdf (44 kB) Choose translations of the previous link pdf

Intra-euro area imbalances

Still, the difficulties of some Member States have also shone a spotlight on a number of imbalances within the euro area itself. Accumulated intra-euro area imbalances exposed some Member States to economic and financial shocks.

These vulnerabilities were amplified by unfinished business in fiscal consolidation and financial supervision. Although euro area governments did their fair share to sustain global demand, the aggregate impact of the euro area policy response could have been faster and perhaps stronger if co-ordination had started earlier and been more comprehensive.

Further concerted policy action

The crisis eloquently demonstrated the urgency of making rapid progress on the EMU@10 reform agenda of broadening and deepening macroeconomic surveillance. Broader surveillance, of structural reforms as well as fiscal policy, will facilitate a co-ordinated policy response to the competitiveness challenge. Surveillance will also have to be deepened to ensure sustainable public finances. But Member States will also have now to show clearer political will and stronger leadership to turn common understandings into concerted policy action.

Finally, since imbalances are also global and pose a threat to the world's economic stability, it is imperative that the euro area now speak with a single voice on the world stage, the most effective way to do so ultimately being a single seat in international institutions and fora.


>> Press release IP/09/1429 - Crisis highlights urgent need for deeper and broader macroeconomic coordination and surveillance in euro area Choose translations of the previous link