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Europe’s Necessary Union

BRUSSELS – The consequences of Europe’s debt crisis are all too present throughout much of the European Union, as distressed economies attempt to stabilize and grow at the same time. Notwithstanding the important decisions taken over the last couple of years, the reality is that we need to do more to tackle the challenges facing the eurozone.

Reform and consolidation measures are being implemented across the EU. Joint financial backstops have been put in place. And the European Central Bank has consistently shown that it will stand by the euro. Yet experts and partners often underestimate our determination.

All of the steps taken so far have resulted in more European integration, not less. It is true that sometimes decision-making in our democratic system takes time. But do not misjudge us: the negotiations are about the arrangements, not about the final outcome. There is sufficient political will in the EU to do whatever is necessary to protect the euro, because the future of the single currency will determine that of European integration.

The additional measures that Europe needs must be firmly rooted in a commitment to deeper integration. High levels of sovereign debt, together with the behavior of parts of the financial sector, have amplified the crisis in the eurozone and raised important issues of confidence that now require a systemic answer.