A global response to a global crisis. That is what Nicolas Sarkozy has called for, in a speech to the European Parliament.
The French leader, whose country currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, was setting out his vision of how to stabilize the world economy in the wake of the current turmoil. And Europe, he believes, has a big role to play.
“Europe must be the standard bearer for the idea of reforming world capitalism,” Sarkozy told MEPs.
What had happened was an act of treason against the values of capitalism he argued, but not a calling into question of the market economy itself.
Sarkozy said a forthcoming financial summit should be attended not only by G8 nations but also by major emerging economies like India and China.
The French President declared that Europe needs a pro-active industrial policy to promote growth. And he suggested creating sovereign wealth funds in EU countries to coordinate a response to the economic slowdown wrought by the crisis.
He also advocated regular summits of leaders of the 15 nations that share the euro currency, to
provide what he called an “economic government” for Europe. In Sarkozy’s view, this could work in partnership with the independent European Central Bank.
Earlier this month, euro zone leaders launched a plan to provide liquidity to banks and restore confidence. Both the French and Dutch governments have put their hands into their pockets in recent days to help shore up their nations’ financial institutions.