Post-crisis Europe can t be run with old rules, says PM Orban
<p>Brussels, October 29 (MTI) - After the global economic crisis, Europe can no longer be run according to the old rules, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told reporters after the summit meeting of EU heads of state and government in Brussels on Friday.</p>
Although all member states wanted to avoid amending the EU s basic treaty, new challenges can no longer be met on the platform of the old treaty, he said.
Post-crisis Europe will only be competitive if it is as effective at creating jobs for its citizens as rival countries and blocs are, he said.
Orban said Europe must be ready to deal with the consequences of any new crisis that may emerge. The economic policies of the bloc cannot be left uncoordinated as they were before the crisis, and that is why economic policies must be approximated but without harming national sovereignty, he added.
"One member can even so cause grave surprises for another," he said.
Orban said there must be a crisis-management mechanism which can be tapped if problems emerge. At the same time a principle should govern culpability with a system of sanctions whose aim is to ensure that irresponsibility is not repeated.
Orban said changing a treaty always harbours pitfalls but real success can only be attained by taking on risk. He said he had urged his colleagues in Brussels to make clear in advance how they wanted to conclude the treaty changes.
The prime minister confirmed that pension reform and the issue of whether this should be taken into account in national budgets had been discussed at the summit. He said Hungary continued to support the other central and eastern European countries in their quest to strike an agreement on pensions but Hungary has in the meantime decided to revert to the two-pillar system, and would therefore withdraw from this group.
Orban underlined Hungary s long-standing position in connection with Croatia s bid to become an EU member, saying its prospects appeared very promising, and that Hungary was "fighting" on Croatia s behalf as well as further EU integration.
He confirmed Britain s quest to streamline the EU budget over the next seven years. Orban said Hungary, as a new EU member, would like a long-term budget which is rational but allows room for the expression of solidarity.