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At the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union (SECG) in Tallinn Creative Hub today, the politicians of the member states of the European Union and the European Parliament pointed out that in order to improve the economic growth of Europe and the welfare of member states, it was necessary to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union and continue with structural reforms.

Watch video summary of the first day of the conference:

SECG konverentsi esimene päev

President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Eiki Nestor said in his welcome address to the Conference that if the member states wanted to be successful, there was no alternative to close cooperation.   

In the opinion of Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu Remo Holsmer, who chaired the Conference, the member states have to continue with the reforms that are necessary for sustainable finance and greater economic growth. “Our goal is that all countries of Europe would be unified and that the economy, and through it, the welfare of people would grow in all member states,” Holsmer said. He was sure the politicians got the message that it was necessary to think in the framework of a generation, not an election cycle. “Considering the ageing of population, all member states have tense budgets, and it is irresponsible to make thoughtless long-term expenses,” Holsmer said.

Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said that even if the economic indicators of the euro area improved, the economy had to be constantly boosted. On 6 December, the European Commission will publish a package of proposals on deepening the Economic and Monetary Union. The Reflection Paper on Deepening the Economic and Monetary Union (PDF, 1MB) sets out four principles that should guide the way forward.

Member of the Estonian delegation Jürgen Ligi pointed out that deepening of the monetary union should be based on better implementation of the agreed-upon budgetary rules and structural policies. “So far, these are the only purpose for discussing new rules and conditions,” Ligi said. “Unfortunately, some speakers again voiced statements according to which the rules are a problem, although they are only the conclusion of problems and crises.”

In the opinion of the Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs Roberto Gualtieri, modest economic growth, low salaries and small investments, accompanied by the deepening of social and economic inequality, continue to be a problem. 

In the opinion of Governor of the Bank of Estonia Ardo Hansson, it is important to move on with the structural reforms in order to ensure the flexibility and resilience of economies.

Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Mari Kiviniemi said in her report that it was important to focus on measures which supported economic growth and helped overcome the challenges relating to globalisation. It is also important in her opinion to complete the establishing of the Banking Union, the Energy Union and the digital single market.   

The Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union (SECG) is a part of the parliamentary dimension of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Conference will continue tomorrow with the discussions about efficient tax collection and the EU budget. The conference is streamed online on the parleu2017.ee web page.

Epp-Mare Kukemelk
Communications Coordinator
Parliamentary Dimension
Presidency of the Council of the EU

Chancellery of the Riigikogu
Phone: +372 631 6356 +372 515 3903
Lossi plats 1a, 15165 Tallinn, Estonia