EP president Martin Schulz pleaded for member states to drop their “quick-fix” method in favour of “tangible, practical measures” during the inaugural session of the European summit in Brussels on 13 December. He said action was needed now. “We must not allow endless debates about the revision of the Treaties to distract us from the task of addressing the real problems facing us. You now have an opportunity to sort out this institutional mess at long last and strengthen European democracy.”
Treaty amendments that take more than two years to take effect will not help to create a single job for a young person today, he said: “Our shared responsibility must be to ensure that the crisis does not rob young Europeans of their future.” In his speech he also stressed that a Youth Job Guarantee would be vitally important given the level of youth unemployment in the EU.
President Schulz said practical steps were needed to deal with the crisis in four different areas.This included the prompt introduction of a single European supervisory mechanism for all banks, greater budgetary discipline matched by greater solidarity, a social pact to help the EU achieve its objectives of a high level of employment and social protection and the establishment of a genuine economic union under democratic scrutiny.
He emphasised that the European Parliament is the body which must exercise democratic scrutiny over all decisions taken at EU level. “A Europe which is not democratic will never be accepted by ordinary people. A democratic Europe must be based on the principle that democratic scrutiny is exercised and accountability applies at the same level at which a given decision is taken.”
Member states reached an agreement on a banking union, which will now have to be negotiated with the European Parliament.