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European muturity

No one now doubts that the European Union's institutions need in depth reform. The crisis has revealed their inadequacies and highlighted shortfalls in the way they are governed. Hence this is the dawn of a new period of reflection and debate about the shape it should take and on how competences should be shared between the Member States and the Union. Questions about a two-speed Europe and the transfer of sovereignty are a source of agitation and will lead to division once more in the European Community.

However Europeans would be wrong to launch stratight into an institutional debate which public opinion is tired of and which would not really make any real sense since the immediate problems they are facing have not yet been settled.

It is urgent to revive confidence. Confidence cannot be revived simply thanks to credibility. Being credible incidently means adhering to commitments taken in terms of reducing public spending and debt. It also means reviving sustainable growth. Growth will not be recovered via spending but by the determined, coordinated investment in industries of the future, the most cutting edge technologies and obviously in the education of both men and women.

The task is therefore thankless and difficult, but it really is a priority. It is up to us not to be distracted and not spread our efforts too thinly.

The future of the Union and each of its Member States depends on this.