The Slovenia Times

President, EU Commissioners for Environment, Budget Discuss EU Future


Lewandowski and Türk stressed that more than 95% of the funds member states contributed to the EU budget returned to states, mostly for investment.

According to Türk, Slovenia should use its share of EU funding for projects promoting green development and creating jobs.

Lewandowski meanwhile noted that the budget should be negotiated by the end of the year, as it would be more difficult next year when Germany holds parliamentary election. What is more, the trend of decreasing budget will continue, he added.

Commenting on the plans for a banking union, Elemer Tertak, advisor to the head of the European Commission's Directorate General for the Internal Market and Services, stressed that such a union would only work if a financial union worked as well.

Former governor of the Slovenian central bank Mitja Gaspari meanwhile noted that there were some issues with establishing the banking union, including the relation between the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Banking Authority (EBA). He would like to see EBA join ECB as an independent institution.

The middle class is disappearing in Europe, while the number of those in risk of poverty is growing, the head of the Slovenian Bank Association, former central bank governor France Arhar, stressed, adding that the EU had to determine how to establish a system that would take care of the socially weak and encourage creativity at the same time.

Chairman of the SKB bank Cvetka Selšek meanwhile noted that the economy in the bloc would have to be restructured to tackle its problems, because saving the banks will not be enough. According to her, too many companies are too heavily indebted.

The EU environment commissioner agreed that the economy should be restructured, as Europe can only boost its competitiveness through sustainable development.

Europe can only compete with Asia and South America if it brings down the use of resources. "We now have an excellent opportunity to focus on this," Potočnik added, while Türk stressed that Europe should think on how to make good use of its advantages.


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