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#Real Stuff: Accepting responsibility at both European and national levels

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#Real Stuff: Accepting responsibility at both European and national levels

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Jeffrey Franks, Director of the International Monetary Fund’s Europe Office**, says that many structural policies in Europe have always remained outside the EU mandate and in the hands of national governments. **

"When the founders of the euro were thinking about this process, they knew that there were a lot of structural policies that would remain national responsibilities. But in the Delors report, for example, when they were contemplating this, they said: 'Oh, but countries will have every incentive to reform their economies in a way that they won’t be left behind.' But in fact some countries did not reform and they did get left behind to a certain extent and that’s where the pressure needs to be on them - on the individual populations, on their own governors. But also we have a set of European mechanisms now, the European semester, the so-called 'six-pack' and 'two-pack', which are mechanisms by which the European countries get together and collectively look at each other’s policies and make recommendations. Ultimately, you know, they are sovereign countries and in areas that are not European responsibilities you cannot force them. I think that responsible leaders though will look back at the last decade and say there are some lessons that we need to learn. It is not just lessons for Europe. It’s also lessons for the individual countries about how to do a better job to avoid the next crisis or make the next crisis less deep and certainly to improve that trend growth over time."