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Preparation for the European Council meeting 23/10 – Speech of MEP Hökmark in plenary

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Gunnar Hökmark (PPE). Mr President, it is important that we can recapitalise European banks. It is important that we can create a financial firewall in order to secure the financial stability of the European economy. Let us not forget, however, that it is also important to establish the most vital firewall for Europe’s economies, namely growth. If we cannot achieve the credibility of future economic growth, none of the other things we are talking about will help in the long run, and that must not be forgotten when we are talking about ‘more Europe’.

We need a more open Europe, a more competitive Europe and a more dynamic Europe, but sometimes I feel that we discuss ‘more Europe’ in the sense of more institutions, more forums for decision-making and more and different structures. The risk of that is that we will end up not with more Europe but with more ‘Europes’: more divided and unable to benefit from the fact that the European economy is the world’s biggest.

However, we also need the world’s biggest markets and that is why the Commission needs to enter an era of reform at the same time as we enter the era of austerity – which is necessary but is not enough. We need more growth as the firewall for the European economy, and more Europe – not more ‘Europes’.