German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said that in order for the European Union to overcome its economic crises, euro zone members should be prepared to “cede control over certain policy domains to European institutions,” as Reuters puts it (Editor’s note: That quote is Reuters summation of what Merkel said, not her actual words).
“We seem to find common solutions when we are staring over the abyss,” Merkel said at an event hosted by Deutsche Bank in Berlin. “But as soon as the pressure eases, people say they want to go their own way.”
“We need to be ready to accept that Europe has the last word in certain areas. Otherwise we won’t be able to continue to build Europe,” she added.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who also spoke at the sponsored event, took exception to the views expressed by Merkel. He explained that it would be “dangerous” if other EU countries “felt Germany was imposing its own economic model across the entire bloc,” Reuters notes.
The German chancellor flatly stated that this would not happen. She also said that Europe’s different peoples and cultures must orient themselves towards “best practices.”
“That meant Germany accepting a single market for services, a common labour market and more compatible social security systems, so that Europeans could move from one state to the other without worrying about their pensions,” the report adds.
Merkel in her remarks also defended the German approach to the EU’s economic crisis, arguing that her critics are simply wrong when they accuse her of putting too much emphasis on austerity.
Europe, Merkel explained, “must find a way to deliver both growth and solid finances,” the report notes.
European leaders are scheduled to meet in Brussels in June to discuss establishing a so-called “fiscal union.” It is widely believed, however, that the “fiscal union” meeting will prove unproductive, mostly because of the differences between the pro-austerity Germans and the Socialist French government.
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