On Wednesday morning, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt presented the programme of her Government's 6-month Presidency of the Council. Most of MEPs expressed their support and urged her to take a firm stand in solving the financial crisis.
Ms Thorning-Schmidt focused on the programme's priorities, which are budget discipline, growth and jobs, green policies, ensuring safety of citizens and strengthening the voice of Europe in the world."The path out of this crisis goes through more Europe, not less", she stressed.
Commission President José Manuel Barroso said that unless the roadmap presented in October is implemented, "our prospects for growth will not be achieved".
Joseph Daul (FR), on behalf of the EPP, told Ms Thorning-Schmidt: "You need to be a political Presidency" because "the times in which we are living call for European players not to just oil the wheels or build bridges but to be committed players who make themselves heard".
"We are victims of financial markets and credit rating agencies, who decide on Europe more than we do", said Hannes Swoboda (S&D, AT). He criticised the talks on a new international fiscal compact agreement, citing the Financial Times description of it as "an irrelevant distraction".
"What Standard and Poor's is saying is in fact true", said Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, BE) and "European leaders should read their reports". The solution, he said, is "as everyone knows: stability bonds, common bonds, you choose the name".
Speaking for the Greens, Rebecca Harms (DE) praised the Prime Minister for her "critical approach" to the Europact, which excludes both the European and national parliaments from influence, the Presidency' commitment to greening and called for Eurobonds and called on the Presidency to "act now".
UK MEP Martin Callanan (ECR) thanked the Prime Minister for her frank assessment that a "financial transaction tax would do damage to European economy" and expressed the hope that the Presidency would reject "a common corporate tax base" and instead stimulate "growth and the internal market".
Speaking for the GUE group, Søren Søndergaard (DA) said that the Presidency programme looked at as if "it had been written by Merkozy". "No more EU-dictated cutbacks" he said: "We need jobs and improvements in general welfare".
Morten Messerschmidt (EFD, DA), likened the Prime Minister to the EU as regards lack of "popular support". He urged Mrs Thorning-Schmidt to "Come to Brussels, come to Strasbourg" as this would "minimize damage to her population". "