France is reinforcing Europe’s bid to reinvent global financial systems. As current European Union President, Nicolas Sarkozy has rounded up a consensus to prepare an international meeting to overhaul the rules.
At an EU summit in Brussels the bloc also decided to stick to a December deadline to clinch an EU energy and climate pact. Sarkozy said: “The French Presidency fought not to have the ambitious objectives and calendar dropped. Believe me, that wasn’t easy.”
Poland and Italy, most notably, want carbon emissions reduction goals softened, to ease the impact on their industries. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was wary about how the costs will be shouldered. He said: “All Europeans will have to share the burden equally if we are going to be willing to forge a path ahead.”
Eastern European countries and some of Europe’s traditional industries say that, with the crisis, the climate plan carries a prohibitive price tag. The 27 heads of state and government have asked Brussels to come up with economic support proposals.
Sarkozy asked: “Does economic policy need the same coordination as the financial crisis? From this presidency’s point of view: yes, yes, yes. Is that unanimous? For the moment: No, no, no.”
But the leaders were united in their determination to keep recession fears at bay, to preserve growth and jobs and maintain industrial competitiveness.