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08-11-2012

Angela Merkel in EP: "EU needs more democratic legitimacy and control"

A more integrated and democratic European Union with more influence for the European Parliament were some of the demands formulated by German chancellor Angela Merkel during her speech in the Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday. MEPs welcomed this but criticised proposed EU budget cuts and the continuing emphasis on austerity as the main means of combating the crisis.

A more integrated and democratic European Union with more influence for the European Parliament were some of the demands formulated by German chancellor Angela Merkel during her speech in the Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday. MEPs welcomed this but criticised proposed EU budget cuts and the continuing emphasis on austerity as the main means of combating the crisis.

The chancellor visited the Parliament for a debate on how to overcome Europe's crisis and improve democracy and transparency in the European Union. She spoke during a meeting of the Conference of Presidents open to all MEPs.

Most MEPs lauded Merkel's demands for a stronger and better coordinated European Union and more democratic control exercised by the European Parliament. However, president Martin Schulz as well as the group leaders insisted that the threatened EU budget cuts would undermine the Union's ability to serve the member states' needs while others also deplored the austerity imposed as a means of combating the crisis.

Furthermore, her demands that decisions affecting the eurozone should only be taken by MEPs from countries that have adopted the euro and that there should a special eurozone budget were also severely criticised by some group leaders.

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See more photos of Angela Merkel in the EP