Hoppa till innehåll

EU: s response to the world financial crisis – speech in plenary

In the light of the current global financial crisis it is important not to forget the decades of prosperity and development that the open economy has made possible. This was one of the key points made by MEP Gunnar Hökmark in the plenary debate of the European Parliament regarding the present financial crisis and how to deal with it.

Read the speech in its entirety below:

Gunnar Hökmark (PPE-DE). – Madam President, we are in the midst of a deep financial crisis that is unique from very many perspectives. It is unique because it is the first truly global financial crisis we have seen and we are also in the midst of a recession in the world economy.

But it might be good to have some sort of perspective on the events and the developments we are going through, because we have also seen 25 years of unprecedented and unique global economic growth that has made it possible for more than two billion people to leave poverty.

I must say I have heard very little of this from that part of the Chamber here tonight when they are saying that the open economy has failed. Is it a failure that two billion people have left poverty? Of course not. But we do see a new structure in the global economy today, and the fact that the meeting in Washington was a G20 meeting and not a G7 meeting is an expression of the new reality we are living in. I think that is good, because the whole dominance of the transatlantic economy is not there any more. In general, that is a good thing because it means that other parts of the world have been able to develop prosperity.

It has, during this period, created imbalances: huge surpluses in countries such as China, and huge deficits in countries such as the US, coupled with a unique and artificially low interest rate in the US economy which has increased the credit volume more than ever.

It is interesting to note that we have had the same debate in this Chamber with colleagues from that side calling for lowering interest rates even further. Had we done so, the problems in Europe would have been even bigger than they are.

Now we need to see to it that we can restructure and recover the global economy, and I think that the European Union has an important and crucial role to play in that. We need to make sure that we do what was said at the Washington meeting, secure free trade and open markets and say ‘no’ to protectionism, because that would hinder recovery more than anything else. We need to make sure that the regulatory framework of the global financial markets catches up with the reality of how the world economy looks today. That is our task, and we must take a lead in that and develop prosperity even more.