Finance Minister says less is better for the EU

Cypriot Minister of Finance Harris Georgiades supported on Wednesday the scenario calling for less is better in the EU, and called on everyone to realise that policy and bureaucracy in the EU had reached their limits.

I lean towards scenario 4, less is better. Let us focus through joint decisions on selected sectors of policy. I do not believe we should abandon some sectors, but we must decide, jointly, what we will focus on from now on, Georgiades said during a discussion organised by the EU Representation in Cyprus, titled The White Paper and Cyprus. The Economic Dimension.

The White Paper on the Future of Europe, presented in March by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, provides for five scenarios: (1) Carrying on – The EU focuses on delivering its positive reform agenda, (2) Nothing but the single market – The EU is gradually re-centred on the single market, (3) Those who want more do more – The EU allows willing member states to do more together in speficif areas, (4) Doing less more efficiently – The EU focuses on delivering more and faster in selected policy areas, while doing less elsewhere, and (5) Doing much more together – The EU decides to do much more together across all policy areas.

Georgiades said he proposed that we do what the citizens approve, that which will secure democratic legitimacy.

The European prospect cannot be identified with European bureaucracy, he said, adding that we must understand that social cohesion is not served by excessive bureaucracy and excessive regulation.

On the economy, Georgiades said that the banking and capital market union must be concluded, the stability pact improved, and innovation and commerce enhanced. He also placed defence, security, and the protection of EU borders, high in the priorities.

I believe that, especially after Brexit, we must pause and think, and redefine the basic principles of the European idea, he said.

Head of the Commissions Representation in Cyprus, Georgios Markopouliotis, said the White Paper was a birth certificate for the post-Brexit EU27.

We must hold a sincere discussion about where we want our Europe to be in 2025 and we must have this discussion now, he said, adding that none of the scenarios are negative, as all five focus on unity among the 27 member states.

Markopouliotis noted that the baton was now being passed to the leaders of the EU27, the institutions, the political parties, and the citizens.

Source: Cyprus News Agency