News / Europe

EU Ready to Shore Up European Currency

European Council President Herman van Rompuy speaks during a final media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Dec 17, 2010 (File Photo)
European Council President Herman van Rompuy speaks during a final media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Dec 17, 2010 (File Photo)
Stefan Bos

European Union President Herman van Rompuy said the bloc is prepared to do more to ensure stability in the Euro Zone, amid concerns over the future stability of the European single currency. Van Rompuy spoke in Hungary, which takes over the rotating six-month E.U. presidency on January 1.

Van Rompuy told a conference organized by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences that Europe's economic crisis has underscored the importance of stability in the Euro Zone. He urged all E.U. member states to adhere to strict financial criteria aimed at reducing budget deficits.

"All governments, all governments, must keep up the efforts in budgetary measures and economic reforms," said van Rompuy. "All must work in the continuity to restore credibility. It is the only way to deal with our long-term challenges."

Van Rompuy said European leaders have introduced what he described as the biggest reform of economic and monetary union since the euro was created. They agreed last week to set up a permanent financial safety net beginning in 2013 to handle future crisis in the Euro Zone, which will expand to include Estonia next year.

Van Rompuy said all 27 E.U.-member states are ready to take further steps, but he made clear he is not seeking to help create a European super state.

"We need a strong economic governance," said van Rompuy. "There is no need for a singe European state. Nor for a single political-economic authority. We have to coordinate, we have to converge, we have to cooperate."

The remarks were welcomed in Hungary. The country's recently elected center-right government insists on what it calls "financial sovereignty" for the country. It even broke off talks with the International Monetary Fund on extending multi-billion-dollar loan arrangements, which were agreed to by the previous Socialist-led administration.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi made clear his country views stabilizing the Euro Zone as a key priority for Hungary's E.U. presidency. He criticized calls from Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands and Finland for a freeze on the bloc's spending at a time when post-communist countries, such as Hungary, still heavily rely on E.U. aid.

"In the last couple of days there is an idea that perhaps we should first freeze in the overall amount of expenditures," Martonyi. "This is not the right approach. We shouldn't put the cart before the horses. Let's discuss how we can increase the cohesion in the European Union, how we can reduce disparities, which still exist between various member  states, and which very much impedes our competitiveness."

European money also will be needed for the policy priorities of Hungary's E.U. presidency, including the enlargement of the border-free Schengen zone to Bulgaria and Romania.

Martonyi made clear that Hungary attaches great importance to a May summit in Budapest between the E.U. and its Eastern neighbors. He said among other key issues is creating an E.U. strategy for the inclusion of Roma people, one of Europe's most impoverished communities and a sizable minority in Hungary.

Hungary's E.U. presidency will come with challenges. The country is being criticized internationally for introducing a strict media law that allows a government appointed media council to hand out fines of up to $1 million dollars for broadcasters, and more than $100,000 for websites and newspapers if their news coverage is deemed unbalanced or unmoral.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid