Leading Government Ministers, Party Leaders and European Commissioners from Liberal Democratic parties across Europe are meeting in London today at the invitation of South West England and Gibraltar MEP Sir Graham Watson, in his role as president of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform party (ELDR) together with UK Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg. The main topics being addressed are the European economic growth; the eurozone and treaty change and the Multi-Annual Financial Framework, the European Unions long term budget strategy. A number of key Lib Dem Ministers will attend including Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Business Secretary Vince Cable.
Prior to the meeting, Sir Graham commented: “Finding a credible solution to the economic crisis remains the number one priority. This will inevitably require greater fiscal coordination, discipline and solidarity among Eurozone countries. The draft Reinforced Economic Union (REU) Treaty under discussion at present is one step in this regard. But fiscal austerity alone cannot solve our problems. Unless we tackle the underlying cause of the crisis – Europe’s chronic lack of competiveness in the global economy – this crisis will be the first of many more to come.”
“What Europe needs is an urgent and far-reaching reform agenda to unlock jobs and economic growth across the Union; a European liberal agenda for the 21st century. Europe has done this before, and reaped the rewards: the Single Market Programme of the 80s and 90s was a truly remarkable liberal achievement, tearing down trade barriers within Europe and unlocking unprecedented levels of new jobs, growth and prosperity. We need to recapture this level of ambition.”
European Liberal Democrats in Government therefore call on all European leaders and institutions to use the extraordinary summit at the end of this month to kick-start and drive forward a plan for Jobs and Growth in Europe.