Merkel: We Have to Make Europe More Binding
Enlarge image Chancellor Merkel spoke with Bettina Schausten, ZDF Berlin studio chief. (© picture alliance / dpa) In her annual summer interview, Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about the need to strengthen European institutions and to improve the cooperation within the European Union. In the interview conducted by journalist Bettina Schausten of the ZDF public network, the Chancellor addressed current efforts within the EU to address the sovereign debt crisis in a number of countries as well as to strengthen political cooperation in the long term.
“We have a principle that means those who receive solidarity must put forth their own effort,” Chancellor Merkel said. “For those who receive assistance and where liability is to be taken on, control must also be possible. And these are exactly the principles that we put into effect and adhered to at the last council.”
She looked ahead confidently to the upcoming Bundestag vote on the European assistance package for Spain’s banking sector. “I say this, the euro is good for the German economy, it is good for our prosperity. Europe is a huge project. Yet it must be properly weighed, and that is why I think it is also correct that the parliament has a very, very large opportunity to take part in decision making.”
What is needed in Europe is closer political cooperation, that which was not achieved with the creation of the economic and currency union. We have to make Europe more binding, Merkel said. The political cooperation has already become somewhat more binding with the fiscal pact, she said, but in certain areas the European institutions should also be able to proceed against those who do not adhere to the rules.
Enlarge image (© picture alliance / dpa) When one has a common currency that also means that with the all of the benefits from this currency one also has the effect that one’s own political decisions also affect other countries, Merkel said.
“The common currency has brought us so many advantages. We are the largest internal market in the world, in a world where 500 million people aren’t even that many, as we are are here in the European Union, in which we are in competition with China, with India, with others. Without Europe, in my opinion, we could no longer jointly represent our values, our views, our ideals.”