Wolfgang Schäuble and Pierre Moscovici, finance ministers for Germany and France respectively, discussed on Monday with members of the EP's economic affairs committee the challenges the European economy faces as EU institutions are fighting for measures to revive economic growth and stabilise the financial system.
Speaking at the meeting, German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble noted there was no silver bullet to overcoming the crisis affecting eurozone countries, only a "step by step, pragmatic approach". He added that member states outside the eurozone should also "make an effort on bank supervision", one of the key elements needed to overcome the crisis. On the subject of Greece, the minister explained that it was the "previous Greek elite" that failed the country and not current austerity measures.
French finance minister Pierre Moscovici commented that the eurozone needs to be completed, solidarity increased and democratic credibility strengthened. He said that over the years the EU decision making process had gone backwards. On Greece, he added that the country "is doing what it can".
The European Parliament regularly invites political leaders to debates because of the ongoing economic dialogue with member states. It is part of the so-called European semester which aims to keep an eye on member states' budgetary plans before they are adopted by the national parliaments.