Deeper European integration urged

Fri, Jan 4, 2013, 00:00

The European Union must “inevitably” move to a “deeper level of integration” with the euro at its core, the most senior official in the European Commission has said.

Secretary general of the commission Catherine Day said a “new EU” was being fashioned out of the crisis of the last four years.

Addressing the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin yesterday, Ms Day said the euro would be the core of the future EU and this was key to understanding many decisions that would be taken over the next few years.

There would at some point be a decision that changes to the EU treaty were necessary, possibly not before 2015.

Such change would have to be preceded by a public debate about what kind of EU we wanted.

She said a lot of decisions would have to be taken under the current treaty.

“But at some stage in the future, in order to go further with the kind of integration I think will be required, we will have to change the treaty.”

There would have to be “an informed debate” in Ireland and in other countries where a referendum would have to be held on such change.

She said that perhaps the biggest question of all was: “how are we going to persuade our fellow EU citizens that a further transfer of sovereignty to the EU level is in their interest?”

“ I think that we will have to look again at whether we have got the right balance between what’s decided at EU level and what’s decided nationally.”