Europe: Financial Crisis and Security Issues (European by Patrick B. Werthers

By Patrick B. Werthers

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Extra info for Europe: Financial Crisis and Security Issues (European Political, Economic, and Security Issues)

Example text

Speeding up infrastructure investments will not only cushion the blow to the construction sector, which is slowing down sharply in most Member States, it will also enhance Europe's longer-term sustainable growth-potential. Particularly in the energy sector a number of high profile trans-European projects would help to increase the EU's energy security and integrate more Member States into the European electricity grid. 5. Step up investments to modernise Europe's infrastructure  For at least the next two years, the EU budget is unlikely to spend the full amount set out in the financial framework.

The EU response to the two crises has been complicated further by a number of factors, including the need to mesh new proposals with such existing EU Directives as the Stability and Growth Pact [10], the Lisbon Principles [11], and the Financial Services Action Plan [12]. The EU structure gives the individual members considerable latitude to formulate their own policies in response to crises. In some cases, this has meant that the EU has had to adopt policies that have been implemented by some of its members to prevent a sort of EU-wide competition.

That view has changed as economic activity in the EU has declined at a fast pace over a short period of time. Making matters worse, global trade has declined sharply, eroding prospects for European exports providing a safety valve for domestic industries that are cutting output. In addition, public protests, sparked by rising rates of unemployment and concerns over the growing financial and economic turmoil, are increasing the political stakes for EU governments and their leaders. The global economic crisis is straining the ties that bind together the members of the EU and could present a significant challenge to the ideals of solidarity and common interests.

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