10 December 2013
Christine Lagarde speaks to European organised
The European Economic and Social Committee invited Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, to its last plenary session of 2013. Against the backdrop of the ongoing crisis, the EESC is concerned about the consequences of austerity policies and their ability to bring recovery to European economies.
Speaking on behalf of European organised civil society, EESC president Henri Malosse congratulated Ms Lagarde for having publicly acknowledged, a few months ago, the importance of not sacrificing growth to austerity policies. In the EESC's view, other avenues need to be explored. Mr Malosse continued: "If we go further down the path of austerity, we risk undermining the social pact and endangering democracy. Is now not the time, for example, to restructure certain public or private debt?"
The EESC also called for large-scale structural changes, including making reindustrialisation a real European priority and finally completing the Economic Union. To this end, the Committee is preparing an action plan and a timetable for moving forward on budgetary, social and fiscal convergence within the Union.
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The European Economic and Social Committee represents the various economic and social components of organised civil society. It is an institutional consultative body established by the 1957 Treaty of Rome. Its consultative role enables its members, and hence the organisations they represent, to participate in the EU decision-making process. The Committee has 353 members from across Europe, who are appointed by the Council of the European Union.