Common European policies have not worked

Published on Friday, 09 November 2012 09:56
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

The EU's budget needs to be drastically cut, powers have to be devolved while eurozone countries should consider abandoning the common currency - Martin Callanan certainly did not mince his words when he chatted to our Facebook fans on Wednesday.

The British leader of the ECR group revealed his vision for a radically different EU and discussed the way out of the crisis.

Mr Callanan took to the chat with great enthusiasm, never skipping a question, no matter how difficult it might be and even inviting our Facebook fans to come up with ideas for his debate with German chancellor Angela Merkel that day.

He talked about his ideas for a different EU as a way to overcome its democratic deficit and tackle the crisis. "It is clear that common European polices have not worked - agriculture and fish are good examples. What we need is a more flexible Europe with more powers devolved back to member states."

The Tory MEP said that the problem was that the principle of subsidiarity was not being respected. "We must be practical; at what level is power best exercised? There is a massive democratic deficit in the EU and people feel they have lost control. We should take a long hard look at which policies work best at European and national level and it is clear that certain policies currently at European level are not working very well at all."

In order to exit the crisis, he called for more market reforms, free trade agreements, reinforcing the single market, more flexible labour markets and reducing the legislative burden on European companies.

Mr Callanan also insisted on cutting funding for the EU. "The most desirable outcome is for the EU budget to be reduced, thereby saving member states money. It is completely perverse for the EU to be imposing austerity and cutbacks on the member states while continuing to grow the EU budget centrally. If austerity is good enough for member state civil servants, it is good enough for the EU institutions as well." He believes the EU should cut back on waste and prioritise areas such as research and development.

Mr Callanan said countries should be allowed to give up the euro if they wanted to. "What we need in Europe is a return to competitiveness and economic growth and it is becoming increasingly clear that within the straitjacket of the single currency it will be difficult for some countries to obtain that. That's why, although it is for them to choose, I think it is the least worst option."

Source: ©European Parliament

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