The resolution firstly notes that „globalisation of the economy creates new opportunities for the EU”, which is „one of the major beneficiaries of the open world economy”.
Following on from Wednesday’s keynote parliamentary debate on the Commission’s paper „The European interest: succeeding in the age of globalization”, MEPs today adopted - by 435 votes to 86 with 32 abstentions - a wide-ranging resolution calling for the EU to take full advantage of globalization while addressing the many challenges it entails.
Competition and trade: a level playing field
It then stresses that „the EU can only achieve its Lisbon objectives internally by being active and united on the global stage” and therefore welcomes „the intention to develop a coherent external dimension of the Lisbon Strategy”, focusing on regulatory cooperation, convergence of standards and equivalence of rules to promote fair competition and trade. MEPs also point out that „without vigorous enforcement of EU competition rules”, the advantages of the single market and the benefits of EU participation in a global market could be diminished.
Backing for ECB independence
The resolution „defends the independence of the ECB in setting monetary policy and in managing the effect of volatility of global financial markets” and emphasizes that „the appreciation of the euro exchange rate is the result of mounting imbalances in third countries and sluggish demand in the euro area”.
MEPs believe that „the surge in demand for natural resources, basic products and services driven by the growth of developing economies may bring about inflationary pressure on the EU Member States’ economies” and argue that „anti-inflationary economic policy tools with strategies of technological growth and a framework for possible macroeconomic adjustment and improved coordination should be prepared by the EU Member States”.
Among the responses needed, MEPs say that „Europe needs a faster transformation of innovation into new products and services” and they back „the Commission’s demand for a ‘knowledge triangle’ of research, education and innovation” and „expects more effective investments in new skills, lifelong learning and modern education/training systems”.
Parliament notes the Commission’s proposal to align different EU policy initiatives so as to ensure a coherent response to internal and external challenges. In this context, it urges „the development of an ‘EU smart green growth initiative’ bringing together all the main existing EU economic instruments” and calls on the Commission „not to disconnect environmental policies from economic and employment policy”, adding that „the fight against climate change must constitute the backbone of the EU’s review of the ‘three-year Lisbon cycle’ „. Moreover, to cope with climate change, as well as international organized crime, supranational action and supranational institutions are needed, believe MEPs.
Social protection and flexicurity
Turning to those left behind by globalization, MEPs note that „EU citizens often equate globalization with falling European output and job losses”. They therefore urge the Commission and Member States to better inform European citizens about all aspects of globalization and the need for a policy at EU level to face these challenges.
They also welcome „the Commission’s statement that more attention will be given to active inclusion and equal opportunities, that adequate social protection should be promoted and the fight against poverty reinforced” and they support „the adoption of a balanced set of common principles regarding flexicurity, combining flexibility and security for employees and employers on the labor market”.
Lastly, Parliament stresses that „the EU urgently needs to have a common borders and immigration policy”, while „leaving it to individual Member States to decide on numbers admitted” and that efforts are needed „to make a success of inward migration for all parties”. (EP Press)