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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid