Almunia: Globalization helps Europe’s economy
On April 13, GMF hosted Commissioner Joaquín Almunia, EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, for a keynote address and afternoon reception. The event, attended by representatives from governments, think-tanks and media outlets, featured remarks by the Commissioner followed by an open dialogue session. During his speech, the Commissioner outlined the challenges and opportunities that globalization presents to a growing EU
In the Commissioner's speech, he outlined his thoughts on globalization as both a challenge and an opportunity for the EU, stressing his belief that it mostly offers an opportunity for economic growth. A more unified EU, a common currency in the euro, macro-economic discipline, a dynamic single market and open trade were all highlighted as points of note for European growth. Going through these examples and outlining the status of each and the role they play in a larger plan for economic reform, the Commissioner noted different levels of progress in each. He also pointed out that along with this opportunity for growth, comes a great amount of responsibility. Stating that if globalization is to be successful it must be fair, he asserted his view that it is the job of all those involved to make sure that the benefits of globalization are spread to all of the world's citizens.
Following his speech, the Commissioner fielded questions from the audience on a variety of issues. When prompted about the euro exchange rate and its effects on competitiveness, he outlined his belief that the European Central Bank was doing a good job and that the euro's value could not be blamed for economic weakness in some Member States - it is the responsibility of individual countries to take on the burden for reform in order to become more competitive, both in the EU and globally.
Joaquín Almunia has been Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs since April 2004. He is responsible for economic policy coordination across the EU's Member States, and the EU's economic relations with third countries.