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Economic Crisis dominates Presidency’s second week.

2009/07/08

We are all keen on finding solutions to the current financial crisis. But it’s also important to have an exit strategy without excessive budget deficits and make sure that a crisis of this will never occur again. Therefore the Finance ministers in Ecofin, yesterday discussed the stability and growth pact.

Today, Heads of state and government from the world’s eight largest economies gather the Italian city of L’Aquila. Climate discussions are set to dominate the agenda, but the economic crisis is of course given high priority.

On Friday, budget ministers will meet for the Budget Ecofin meeting. The Council will agree on a common view of next year’s EU budget. Following this decision, the co-decision procedure with the European Parliament will start and continue during the autumn.

It is not possible to make a real reshuffle and modernisation of the EU budget through the annual budget process. For a thorough reform to be undertaken, we need change the long-term budget, the so-called financial perspective. We expect the Commission to present a proposal during the autumn so that we can start the process of modernising the budget. Today’s budget is really not fit for the needs we have. We need to reprioritize and use a larger proportion of EU:s means on for example common research and development and cross boarder infrastructure.

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