Finance Ministers Agree to Tackle EU Economic CrisesBulgaria in EU | May 21, 2010, Friday // 20:57| views
EU President Herman Van Rompuy. Photo by BGNES
EU finance ministers have agreed to work towards a collective agreement to tackle any future economic crises across the 27 member states.
Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, said all 27 ministers recognised the need for coordinated action.
Speaking after a meeting in Brussels, he said they all wanted to be able to react quicker and more efficiently.
Countries have also agreed on the need for sanctions to uphold economic rules, the BBC reported.
Van Rompuy gave no further details on the form sanctions might take, but the taskforce discussed proposals that countries that break deficit rules could lose EU money or voting rights.
The meeting in Brussels comes after the debt crisis in Greece has sparked turmoil in the financial markets, causing the value of the euro fall sharply in recent weeks.
With additional concerns about the level of debt in Spain, Portugal and other countries, the fear has been that the crisis could harm the wider European economy.
Van Rompuy said member states had agreed four main objectives:
• greater budgetary discipline
• find ways to reduce the divergences in competitiveness between member states
• establish an effective economic crisis management mechanism
• strengthen economic governance to be able to act quicker and in a more coordinated and efficient manner to deal with any future economic crises.
He said the meeting was "only the start of the process" of putting these policies in place, but that "there was a strong political will among the European Union finance ministers".
Finance ministers would now start work on establishing a comprehensive, formal agreement, he said.
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