Brussels, February 4, 2011
We happen to be working together, Germany and France, hand in hand, absolutely determined to support and defend the euro, which we believe plays a major role in European integration. We want to strengthen the competitiveness of Europe and its economy, we want convergence of the different European economies and we’ve stepped up our discussion further these past few weeks. So we agree on a long-term plan to provide a response to the challenges facing Europe.
This response and these long-term measures in fact take on board what we’ve experienced in the recent past, when we had to introduce emergency measures to deal with emergency situations. Moreover, the bulk of these measures have proved effective as much for Greece as for Ireland and Portugal.
We and Germany want to move onto a new phase and provide a long-term response. That response is greater integration of economic policy, with one goal in mind: to strengthen the competitiveness of our economies. That’s why we’re going to set out to our partners, over lunch, the details of what we want to see adopted at a Euro Area summit to be held in March – we’re asking for it to be held in March – in order that all observers worldwide understand that the European economies are moving towards convergence, with a view to competitiveness. So it’s an extremely strong German-French axis, serving a long-term European ambition which enables us to respond to the challenges facing all our economies.
There you are. We’re going to set this out to our partners and we’ll have the decisions next March, firstly during a Euro Area summit and then during a European Council.