Where is the Euro going? The public must have a voice in deciding

13 January 2011

Where is the Euro going? The public must have a voice in deciding

The European Commission and the member states’ heads of government can think of only one medicine for the sick Euro: deep spending cuts under stricter European supervision. SP-Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, on the other hand, wants the European Parliament’s Crisis Committee to put all possible scenarios before the European public with research on all the advantages and disadvantages attendant upon each. ‘A European economic government which keeps the member states on a tight rein is only one possible scenario for the future,’ he says. ‘I want to talk about alternatives as well and put these before the people.’

De Jong has therefore sent an urgent letter to the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the economic crisis. In his letter De Jong argues that the European Union stands at a crossroads: it can either develop into a federal Europe with a European economic government, or the Eurozone could split into a stronger and a weaker section. ‘This fundamental choice must now become the subject of a public discussion. The crisis report potentially offers a good platform for such a discussion. It can give a clear overview of the pros and cons involved in this radical decision. This is, moreover, the job of the Parliament.’ De Jong wants to see the citizens of the member states given a voice in the choice of scenario for the future, ‘for example in a referendum’.

In his letter, De Jong further proposes that if eventually a European economic government is established the European Parliament should, whatever else, ensure that it does more than hammer away at budgetary discipline. ‘The last year has seen the European Commission on more than one occasion express the view that the EU has for too long lost sight of its social goals. Any treaty amendments should include social clauses banning work below the minimum wage and establishing full employment as a goal of the internal market.’

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