EU has global role to play if it wisely rethinks next steps, FinMin says

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades sent a message that in order for the EU to be successful it should wisely consider its next steps, warning against the continuous transfer of powers to an unelected central bureaucracy and speaking out in favour of policy initiatives that support entrepreneurship and investment.

Georgiades who was opening the 9th Limassol Economic Forum outlined the challenges facing economic prospects on an international level and referring to Cyprus he pointed out that Gods help them, who help themselves.

He expressed concern over the rising protectionist tendencies in world trade.

If we are to go down the road of protectionism we shall end up in a lose-lose situation, he noted.

Of course, the Finance Minister pointed out it has to be said, that free trade should mean fair trade, adding that everyone should be on a level-playing field and this has not exactly been the case over the years.

At the same time, he expressed the view that any corrective action should be in the direction of opening-up the markets and eliminating any barriers, not erecting more.

Georgiades further spoke in favour of tackling major global issues, such as immigration and environmental protection through cooperation.

And this, he pointed out, is exactly where the EU could have a role.

I would say that the EU could still be successful, but only if it rethinks and regroups and wisely considers the next steps in the European unification process, he stressed.

For instance, he explained, I feel I should once again warn against the continuous transfer of powers to an unelected central bureaucracy, even if this is an enlightened bureaucracy and even if there is an indirect democratic legitimacy.

Democratic legitimacy should be more direct, accountability and transparency in the EU should be enhanced, he pointed out.

Equally important, according to Georgiades, is the direction and the content of EU policy initiatives.

Here, he added, I would highlight the need for policies which will allow the EU economies to compete on a global scale, and definitely not policies which create unnecessary burdens for our economies.

We need policy initiatives that support entrepreneurship and investment, which offer breathing space and flexibility and not policies which erode any competitive advantages our economies may enjoy, he pointed out.

The Cypriot Finance Minister reiterated his support of the Banking Union and even pan-European banks, but warned that such steps take time.

According to Georgiades the implementation of the Banking Union should not follow a path of bureaucratic rigidity, but instead a street-smart, efficient and adaptive approach.

Likewise, the Capital Markets Union should truly and effectively create conditions for the growth of capital markets, for the free movement of capital, for the benefit of smaller corporates and not only the larger few.

Source: Cyprus News Agency