A new policy based upon growth and employment as well as budgetary discipline should be the next step for recovery in the EU according to Welsh Labour MEP, DEREK VAUGHAN
Mr Vaughan believes that the election of Francois Hollande as French President will provide a fresh impetus to efforts to kickstart the European economy.
Outlining the need for a clear alterative to the right wing austerity programmes implemented by a number of EU Member State governments, including the UK, Mr Vaughan gave his support to a three pronged approach being proposed by the Socialists & Democrats group in the European Parliament.
The three aims of the plan are:
- To achieve fiscal consolidation restoring confidence, protecting essential investment and identifying budget savings which cause least damage and inflict least social pain;
- To implement a coordinated European Investment Strategy focussed on modernising infrastructure and investing in human capital to lay the foundations for a smarter, greener Europe;
- To address the problems that caused the crisis including regional divergences in productivity and a growing imbalance between wages and profits.
Speaking today from the European Parliament DEREK VAUGHAN MEP commented:
"The drive by EU governments for austerity is only prolonging the economic crisis and damaging the lives of ordinary, working people. They have completely failed to learn the lessons of history and remain rooted to their out of date and self-defeating dogma.
With the election of Francois Hollande in France, there is a new momentum behind moves to put growth at the top of the agenda as the best way of reducing deficits and public debt. We have seen the example of the US, with their fiscal policies designed to inject investment into jobs and infrastructure preventing a slide into long term recession, and it is now imperative that the EU follows a similar path.
To achieve this, an increase in Structural Funding needs to be considered with support targeted more effectively towards transport, energy, research, innovation and green technologies. Under-investment in strategic projects across the EU could be addressed by doubling the capacity of the European Investment Bank to finance such investment with the development of project bonds. A European Financial Transaction Tax alone would generate billions of pounds a year which could be put to use tackling the underlying causes of the lack of competitiveness and build potential for growth.
By co-ordinating public investment, developing a greener, more efficient and sustainable economy and tackling the scourge of unemployment, it will only be through a strategy with growth as its cornerstone that the EU will be able to emerge from the current crisis in a stronger position to face the challenges of the future."