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Utorok, 15. januára 2019 - Štrasburg Revidované vydanie

5. Slávnostná schôdza - Dvadsiate výročia eura
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  Presidente. – Diamo ora inizio alla seduta solenne per celebrare il 20° anno della nascita della moneta unica, l'euro.

(proiezione di un video)

Signori deputati, gentili ospiti, oggi celebriamo l'anniversario dei vent'anni della nostra moneta.

L'euro è utilizzato da 340 milioni di cittadini europei ed è la seconda moneta più importante del mondo. Secondo l'ultimo sondaggio di Eurobarometro, tre europei su quattro danno un giudizio positivo sulla moneta unica.

L'euro ha reso più trasparente e competitivo il nostro mercato interno, facilitando le transazioni, gli spostamenti, il commercio, il turismo. Durante la crisi economica, anche grazie al quantitative easing deciso dalla Banca centrale europea, e ringrazio per questa iniziativa il Presidente Draghi, la moneta comune ha svolto una funzione di scudo, evitando il collasso delle economie più deboli.

Tuttavia, la crisi ha anche evidenziato il mancato completamento dell'edificio dell'euro ed alcuni errori compiuti nella gestione del problema dei debiti sovrani.

Va riconosciuto che non tutti sono convinti del buon funzionamento della moneta unica, anche in quest'Aula vi sono colleghi che criticano la costruzione dell'euro e considerano l'unione monetaria e gli eccessi di austerità come un freno alla crescita e all'occupazione.

Personalmente resto convinto della bontà del progetto dell'euro, ma l'euro non può essere fine a sé stesso, deve essere uno strumento per realizzare un'economia sociale di mercato, con l'obiettivo di portare prosperità e lavoro a tutti i cittadini europei. È dunque imperativo finire l'edificio che abbiamo cominciato a costruire, l'unione bancaria e il mercato dei capitali vanno completati al più presto, così come vanno portate avanti l'unione fiscale e quella economica. Non possiamo rimanere in mezzo al guado, dove rischiamo di essere travolti da una nuova crisi.

I dati più recenti indicano un deciso rallentamento della crescita e della produzione industriale, con il rischio di una nuova recessione in alcuni paesi europei. Crescono le disparità economiche e sociali tra i diversi territori dell'eurozona e in alcune regioni un giovane su due non trova lavoro. Questo è assolutamente inaccettabile.

È evidente quindi che mancano ancora strumenti efficaci per rilanciare gli investimenti, sostenere l'economia reale, creare lavoro e stimolare la convergenza sociale e regionale. È dunque urgente dare seguito alla richiesta di questo Parlamento di un bilancio adeguato a queste sfide.

Il mio appello è che quella di oggi non sia una mera celebrazione, dove ci culliamo sugli allori, ma sia una presa d'atto dei problemi ancora aperti. Chiedo un'assunzione di responsabilità ai leader europei per avviare urgentemente quei cambiamenti necessari per rafforzare l'euro e rilanciare la crescita e l'occupazione, con il fine di dare lavoro al maggior numero possibile di cittadini europei, perché senza lavoro non c'è libertà, senza lavoro non c'è dignità.

 
  
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  Le Président. – Monsieur Trichet, ancien président de la Banque centrale européenne, vous avez la parole. Je vous en prie.

 
  
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  Jean-Claude Trichet, ancien président de la BCE. – Monsieur le Président, je vous remercie.

Mr President of the European Parliament, former Presidents of the European Parliament, Mr President of the Commission, Mr President of the Eurogroup, chairpersons of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, cher Mario, honourable Members, honorables membres du Parlement européen, je suis très ému, I am moved. I have the memory of my predecessor, Wim Duisenberg, who was there at the very start of the euro. I also have the memory of all the presentations before the European Parliament from 2003 to 2011. There have always been, as there are today, challenging – not to say very challenging – times for Europe.

From that standpoint, I would like to stress four successes of the euro. First, it is a success in terms of currency credibility and stability. The ECB was given the primary mandate of price stability by the open democracies. From its inception, it was made clear how its capacity to deliver stable prices should be judged: less than 2% inflation. Since it was founded, the euro’s average yearly inflation has been around 1.75%. It’s better than the former national currencies. The domestic stability of the euro is echoed by its international credibility. The euro is the second international currency after the dollar, far above the third, the yen.

Second, the euro and the euro area have proved to be remarkably resilient in the face of the worst financial and economic crisis since World War II. At the inception of the euro, a significant global analysis suggested that the single currency would be short—lived as an audacious experience deserving respect for its boldness but incapable of sustaining the difficulty of hard times.

L’euro a prouvé que ces prédictions étaient fausses et il a démontré une capacité remarquable à tenir dans les pires circonstances internationales.

En ce qui concerne la solidité de la zone euro, pour faire brève une longue histoire, je dirai que les quinze pays qui étaient membres de la zone euro au moment de la banqueroute de Lehman Brothers en sont encore membres aujourd’hui, évidemment, y compris la Grèce, et que quatre nouveaux pays y sont entrés depuis le début de la crise financière mondiale, la plus terrible depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Je ne crois pas qu’on puisse mieux prouver la solidité et la résilience de la zone euro.

En ce qui concerne enfin le soutien populaire à l’euro, je dirai, comme vous l’avez dit, Monsieur le Président, qu’il est remarquable que 75 % de nos concitoyens approuvent la phrase: «une Union économique et monétaire avec une seule monnaie: l’euro» et que seulement 20 % de nos concitoyens soient contre cette proposition. Ce pourcentage est le plus élevé depuis la création de l’euro, depuis que l’on pose la question. Ce soutien populaire, qui, très souvent, n’est pas pris en compte par les commentaires sur l’Europe, explique évidemment la solidité de l’euro et de la zone euro.

Regarding the fourth success of the euro, I would refer to the last IMF Data Mapper, which suggests that there is no significant difference between per capita growth in the euro area and in the US. The same is demonstrated by the World Bank data: approximately the same growth per capita in the US and in Europe since the setting-up of the euro in 1999.

I also think that the euro, as I said, is a process, not an event. One should not underestimate the decisions made since its inception, the reinforcement of the Stability and Growth Pact, the ratification of the Fiscal Stability Treaty, the setting-up of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure, the ratification of the European Stability Mechanism Treaty, and last, but not least, banking union.

But as you said, Mr President, a lot remains to be done: as Mario says so often, on top of achieving banking union and duly implementing the reinforced economic fiscal and financial governance, I will mention on a personal basis, fleshing out the budget of the EU area, which has been decided in principle, make significant progress in the capital markets union, appoint a minister of economy of the euro area and, last but not least, reinforce the democratic legitimacy of EMU in giving, on the most important issues, the last word to Members of the European Parliament within a framework where you would have the MEPs that represent euro area members.

During the whole of my term, I can testify that, in my hearings before the European Parliament, I benefited from the strongest and most important moral support when we had to preserve price stability and engage at the same time on very bold non-conventional measures, including the purchase of treasury bonds from a number of countries in 2010 and 2011 before the decision taken by the ECB under the chairmanship of Mario.

The twin messages that I received from the European Parliament were: be faithful to your mandate and deliver price stability; be innovative and bold enough, when necessary, to be commensurate with your responsibilities in times of exceptional crisis.

Expressing my gratitude to the European Parliament, I cannot help but mentioning that I looked at the Eurobarometer and I could see that the trust in the European Parliament bestowed on it by the fellow citizens is important, superior of course to the non-trust fellow citizen, and it is better result than what we see for the national parliaments. I mention that very cautiously en passant. Jean Monnet once wrote:

«Personne ne peut dire aujourd’hui la forme qu’aura l’Europe que nous vivrons demain, car le changement qui naîtra du changement est imprévisible.»

Nobody can say today what Europe will be tomorrow because future changes, fostered by today’s changes, are unpredictable. I would say that this remark remains true as regards the long-term future of the European Union, but I will be bold enough to say that we already know that tomorrow’s Europe will benefit from its credible single currency, the euro, as well as from its trusted European Parliament.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank. – Mr President, Mr President of the Commission, Mr President of the Eurogroup, dear Jean—Claude, honourable Members of the European Parliament, it is with great pleasure that I am here today to celebrate with you the first 20 years of the euro. The euro is the most tangible representation of European integration that our citizens encounter on a daily basis. It is fitting, then, to celebrate this anniversary here with the directly elected representatives of all our citizens.

Over the years here, elected representatives and leaders and elected representatives in other parliaments have rightly recognised that ensuring economic prosperity and stability over the long term is a shared challenge that is best faced collectively. We are stronger together.

With the Single Market, we have a powerful engine of sustainable growth to underpin our living standards. The euro has safeguarded the integrity of the Single Market. Today, our economies are integrated to a point that was not imaginable when the euro was designed. Intra-EU exports have risen from about 13% of GDP to 20% today, but especially, value chains are everywhere today in the euro area.

The euro has also produced two decades of price stability, including in countries where this was a long-lost memory. Stable prices have fostered people’s confidence in the value of their savings, which is one of the conditions for prosperity. Based on such confidence, firms invest and create new jobs.

Today, most challenges are global and can only be addressed together. It is this ‘togetherness’ that magnifies the ability of individual countries to retain their sovereignty over the relevant matters, sovereignty that would otherwise be lost in the global world.

(Applause)

It is precisely in this sense that the single currency has given to all members of the euro area their monetary policy sovereignty, compared with the pre—existing monetary arrangements. It is together that we have a voice – and we had a voice – in the regulation of international financial markets, a voice which has been fundamental in reshaping the world financial regulation after the great financial crisis.

However, in some countries, not all of the euro’s benefits have been realised in full. Partly, this is because reforms at national level are necessary – and by the way, they would be so under any monetary system – to produce sustainable growth; partly, it is because the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) remains incomplete.

Great progress has been achieved since the crisis struck, but more work still needs to be done; and there is no alternative to a future where we will all continue to work together to make our Economic and Monetary Union an even stronger engine of prosperity for all its Member States.

The European Parliament has had and will have a fundamental role in guiding and designing our European future. In the past, together with the EU leaders, the European Parliament took the fundamental decisions to create the Single Market, and in its wake, the euro.

Today, we are all reaping the benefits of their commitment, of your commitment, and we want future generations of Europeans to benefit similarly from our commitment as well. Today, our duty is to complete what was started two decades ago.

 
  
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  Jean-Claude Juncker, président de la Commission. – Monsieur le Président, l’événement d’aujourd’hui est un événement surprise. Rappelez—vous: nombreux furent ceux qui, lorsque nous avons lancé le processus nous conduisant vers la monnaie unique, nous prenaient pour des fous, disant qu’en aucune façon cette union monétaire entre des pays si disparates ne pourrait fonctionner. On les entend moins aujourd’hui. Députés ici et ailleurs, journalistes partout, professeurs de droit, surtout en Allemagne, professeurs de sciences économiques, encore en Allemagne... tout le monde nous disait que nous nous lancions dans une aventure qui conduirait l’Union européenne au bord de l’abîme.

Nous sommes loin de l’abîme, parce qu’aujourd’hui nous pouvons constater avec satisfaction, presque avec bonheur, que l’œuvre que nous avons entreprise il y a vingt années a été couronnée de succès. Le mérite en revient à ceux qui se projetaient vers l’avenir. Je veux mentionner deux de mes prédécesseurs dans les différentes fonctions qui furent et qui sont les miennes: le Premier ministre luxembourgeois Pierre Werner sans qui – et sans l’imagination duquel – rien n’aurait été possible, et Jacques Delors, qui fut un grand artisan de la construction monétaire européenne.

Je pourrais y ajouter d’autres noms. Nombreux, mais pas si nombreux que cela, furent ceux qui, sur la base de leur conviction profonde, continentale et européenne, pensèrent que l’aventure méritait d’être entreprise. Personnellement, je fus étroitement associé à l’aventure, qui fut couronnée de succès. En 1991, en tant que président de la conférence intergouvernementale, j’ai conduit, avec d’autres – notamment Jean—Claude Trichet – le processus qui nous a menés au traité de Maastricht.

La partie monétaire du traité de Maastricht est une partie noble, réussie, alors que la partie politique fut plus faible, en fait médiocre. Lorsque j’ai signé le traité de Maastricht, le 7 février 1992 – je suis d’ailleurs le seul signataire du traité à être toujours dans la vie politique –, je pensais que la logique et le dynamisme de la monnaie unique nous conduiraient vers un approfondissement de l’union politique. Grande déception, parce que cela ne fut pas le cas. Tout comme la convergence économico-sociale entre les différents pays membres de la zone euro laisse à désirer. J’ai toujours considéré que le principal mérite de la réussite de la monnaie unique revient à la Banque centrale européenne, puisque cette dernière, dont le principe d’indépendance fut lourdement contesté lorsque nous avons commencé nos travaux en janvier 1991, a fait que la crédibilité de la monnaie unique ne fut jamais contestée par les marchés ni par...

(Sonnerie d’un téléphone portable)

C’est un Français, je ne sais pas lequel... maintenant je sais lequel... Les grands débats jettent leur ombre.

(David Coburn off micro: ”Mme May?”)

That was yesterday.

Sans la Banque centrale indépendante – et, nous avons dû, à plusieurs, lutter pour le principe de l’indépendance de la Banque centrale –, la monnaie unique n’aurait pas connu le succès qui est le sien aujourd’hui.

Il y a des faiblesses. J’étais parmi ceux – avec MM. Delors, Maystadt et Bérégovoy – qui, dès le début, avaient plaidé pour le gouvernement économique de la zone euro. C’est une grande faiblesse que la coordination des politiques économiques ne soit pas parfaite. Elle ne le sera jamais, mais nous aurions dû faire plus en matière de coordination des politiques économiques, y compris budgétaires et fiscales. C’est une faiblesse qui subsiste et, par conséquent, nous ne pouvons pas baisser les bras. Mais il faut relancer ce débat essentiel pour la construction qui nous attend.

On a beaucoup critiqué la politique de la zone euro. Cette critique m’atteint très personnellement parce que j’étais président de l’Eurogroupe au moment de la plus grave crise économique et financière. Oui, il y a eu de l’austérité irréfléchie, non pas parce que nous voulions punir ceux qui étaient au travail et ceux qui étaient au chômage, mais parce que les réformes structurelles, indépendamment du régime monétaire dans lequel nous nous trouvons, restent essentielles.

Je regrette que nous ayons donné trop d’importance à l’influence du Fonds monétaire international. Au moment du déclenchement de la crise, nous étions plusieurs à penser que l’Europe avait suffisamment de muscles pour pouvoir résister elle-même, sans l’influence du Fonds monétaire international, à la crise qui se profilait. Si la Californie est en difficulté, elle ne s’adresse pas au Fonds monétaire international mais aux États-Unis d’Amérique. Nous aurions dû faire de même.

De même, j’ai toujours regretté le manque de solidarité qui est apparu au moment de ce qu’il est convenu d’appeler la crise grecque. Nous avons été insuffisamment solidaires avec la Grèce. Nous avons insulté et couvert d’invectives ce pays, et je me réjouis de voir la Grèce, le Portugal et d’autres pays avoir retrouvé, non pas une place au soleil, mais une place parmi les anciennes démocraties européennes.

Es gäbe vieles zu sagen. Ich sage nicht alles heute, weil ich eine gewisse Spannung für meine Memoiren erhalten möchte, an die ich ja denken muss, und da werde ich auch Ross und Reiter benennen. Ich bleibe der Auffassung, dass die europäische Währungsunion Friedenspolitik mit anderen Mitteln ist – Friedenspolitik mit anderen Mitteln.

(Beifall)

Und deshalb möchte ich mich hier auch – im Namen meiner Generation – bei denen bedanken, die all dies möglich gemacht haben. Der Euro, die europäische Währungsunion ist der einzige Beitrag, den meine Generation zur Vollendung das europäischen Einigungswerks beitragen konnte. Vieles war gemacht – so gemacht, wie wir es nie geschafft hätten, wir Nachkriegskinder, die nicht mehr wissen, worum es eigentlich geht. Ich möchte mich hier bedanken bei Helmut Kohl, ohne den dies alles nicht möglich gewesen wäre. Denn Helmut Kohl und auch Theo Waigel haben ja die Währungsunion in Deutschland durchsetzen müssen. Viele Regierungen haben im Übrigen wegen der Vorbereitung des Euro-Prozesses ihre Ämter verlassen müssen. Ich möchte hier meinen Freund Wim Kok lobend erwähnen, der vor kurzem verstorben ist und der einen sehr erheblichen Beitrag zur europäischen Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion geleistet hat. Bleiben wir bitte ihrem Erbe treu!

(Beifall)

 
  
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  Mário Centeno, President of the Eurogroup. – Mr President, Mr President of the European Commission, Mr President of the European Central Bank, dear Jean-Claude Trichet, honourable Members of the European Parliament. It is a pleasure to join you today to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the launch of the euro. The euro is one of the greatest achievements in the history of European integration. Our single currency provides a solid anchor for the creation of jobs and growth across Europe.

The euro has become a symbol of the European identity. It became a popular idea among 340 million people in 19 euro-area countries as it enjoys greater support today than ever before. As the world’s second most-used currency, it reinforces Europe’s presence on the global scene. Many predicted a spectacular failure of the euro, but we proved them wrong.

Not all of the past 20 years have indeed been easy. The financial and sovereign debt crises have put the single currency to the test. Shortcomings in the architecture of the Economic and Monetary Union came to the surface. Still, the single currency emerged stronger from the crises, thanks to committed national policy action and major improvements in the euro area’s institutional framework.

The establishment of the European Stability Mechanism and the banking union has strengthened economic policy coordination, which illustrates precisely this point. Today the euro area is enjoying a broad-based economic expansion, which started in 2013. The outlook is positive. Despite some loss of momentum and some downside risks that have been accumulating. Steady job creation has allowed increasingly more people to benefit from this expansion. The health of public finances and of the banking sector has also been improving.

Much has been achieved during these 20 years. Nevertheless, more is needed to ensure that the euro area is well equipped to handle future crises. The Eurogroup has been doing its part. Its work paved the way for an agreement at the December Euro Summit on strengthening our single currency. This was the single biggest reform of the euro performed outside the crisis context. The agreement will allow for a more effective and broader use of the European Stability Mechanism and make our system of bank resolution more credible. Importantly, leaders also agreed to establish a euro area budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness. I believe this project can, in time, go a long way towards making the euro stable and inclusive.

The work on this file is our priority in the months ahead, but the Eurogroup will continue working on other important issues, such as the European Deposit Insurance Scheme and liquidity in resolution. Step by step, we are increasing the resilience and the smooth functioning of the currency union. Euro area countries and their citizens will thus be in a better position to reap the benefits of the single currency for the next 20 years and beyond.

We cannot repeat it often enough that the euro is not – and never was – an end in itself. It is a tool, intended to increase the prosperity of the peoples of Europe. It is our responsibility to ensure that it lives up to its promise, and even more so in these uncertain times.

It is our task to generate a more prosperous society, a more inclusive society, a society with less inequality within each Member State and between our Member States. I just wish to leave you today with the desire to say ‘long live the euro, long live a stronger euro’. Thank you for your attention.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Roberto Gualtieri, President of the Committee of Economic and Monetary Affairs. – Mr President, on behalf of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, I would like to start by paying tribute to previous and current Members of this House who have contributed to the success of the euro and to enhancing its democratic oversight and legitimacy. In particular, I would like to pay homage to my predecessors, Karl von Wogau, Christa Randzio—Plath, Pervenche Berès and Sharon Bowles, and I’m pleased to see that most of them are here today.

Since its design, the euro has been a powerful economic tool and an ambitious political project. First, the single currency is an indispensable complement to the Single Market, which has made possible its deepening and has boosted the integration of value chains and the strength of our economies.

Second, as President Draghi has just recalled, the euro is a prerequisite for preserving and recovering shared monetary sovereignty, after the crisis of the Bretton Woods order and the development of globalisation, and this is particularly true for the more vulnerable Member States.

Third, the euro is a cornerstone of a peaceful and closer union and a global actor after the end of the Cold War and German unification. We will never forget the vision and the courage of Helmut Kohl, François Mitterrand and Jacques Delors. In other words, a strong euro is a fundamental condition for protecting and relaunching the European economic, social and political model, faced with the transformations of our time.

Ten years ago, when we were celebrating the euro in this House, the financial crisis was about to shake its foundations. That crisis has provided us with two lessons. The first is that, despite being incomplete, the strength and resilience of the euro are rooted in the common political determination to preserve its integrity. Here, the resolve of the European Central Bank and of its presidents has been decisive, and the euro has protected the people during the crisis. We should, of course, be able to distinguish between the euro and the economic policies conducted during the crisis, including some economic policy mistakes which were made at that time.

The second lesson is that, if we want to achieve our ambitious goals, resilience is not enough. We need to complement our common currency with a robust, democratic economic and social union. Let us not wait until another crisis happens to develop the necessary tools to ensure stability and common prosperity for all our citizens. The euro is a journey, and it is time to move forward. I am sure that this and the next Parliament will fully play their part.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Ora verrà suonato dal quartetto Avena, l’inno europeo.

(La seduta è sospesa per alcuni istanti in attesa del turno di votazioni)

 
  
  

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Posledná úprava: 15. mája 2019Právne oznámenie