The economic crisis has prompted intense and sustained action by the European Commission, the EU Member States and the European Central Bank.
This video offers a brief overview of how the EU has found solutions to tackle the financial crisis, how it is reinforcing its economic and monetary union and how this is paving the way towards a strong political union.
In May 2010, amid severe tensions in euro area sovereign debt markets, the EU and euro area Member States set up a stabilisation mechanism that consists of
On 8 October 2012, a permanent rescue mechanism for euro area Member States - the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) - was inaugurated.
From this date onwards, the ESM became the main instrument to finance new programmes. In parallel to the ESM, the EFSF and EFSM will continue managing their existing commitments in relation to the ongoing programmes for Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
The economic governance architecture has been strengthened so that the EU and the euro area are now better equipped for future challenges.
The crisis clearly showed that economic policy coordination and surveillance had to be reinforced with a view to detect and correct harmful fiscal and macroeconomic trends much earlier than in the past. This is especially important within the euro area, where national economies are particularly strongly interlinked.
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Moreover, 25 Member States agreed on a Treaty for Stability, Coordination and Governance that entered into force on 1 January 2013 and further strengthens budgetary discipline and economic governance among these Member States.
However, the work is not finished yet. In November 2012 the Commission presented a Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union, which sets out further steps for the short, medium and long term.