HIGHLIGHTS-EU's Barroso calls for federation of EU states
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called on Wednesday for the European Union to become a federation of nation states.
In a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Barroso outlined sweeping changes to the 27-member bloc, including modifying its treaty and highlighting what he said was a need for countries to share sovereignty.
Following are some excerpts from Barroso's speech:
ON GOAL OF EU FEDERATION:
"We will need to move towards a federation of nation states. This is our political horizon.
"I call for a federation of nation states. Not a superstate. A democratic federation of nation states that can tackle our common problems, through the sharing of sovereignty in a way that each country and its citizens are better equipped to control their own destiny.
"Creating this federation of nation states will ultimately require a new treaty.
"A deep and genuine economic and monetary union can be started under the current treaties, but can only be completed with a new treaty."
ON POSITION OF GREECE
"I truly believe that we have a chance this autumn to come to the turning point. If Greece banishes all doubts about its commitment to reform. And if all other countries banish all doubts about their determination to keep Greece in the euro area, we can do it.
"I believe that if Greece stands by its commitments it should, as a member of the European family, stay in the euro area."
ON ROLE OF EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK (ECB)
"The ECB cannot and will not finance governments. But when monetary policy channels are not working properly, the Commission believes that it is within the mandate of the ECB to take the necessary actions, for instance in the secondary markets of sovereign debt.
"Indeed, the ECB has not only the right, but also the duty to restore the integrity of monetary policy."
ON ECB INDEPENDENCE
"All actors, and I really mean all actors, should respect the ECB's independence."
ON EUROPEAN BANKING UNION
"Supervision must be able to look everywhere because systemic risks can be anywhere, not just in so-called systemically relevant banks."
ON MONETARY UNION
"The Commission will publish a blueprint for deepening the economic and monetary union still this autumn.
"Our blueprint will identify the tools and instruments, and present options for legal drafting that would give effect to them, from policy coordination to fiscal capacity to debt redemption. And, where necessary - as in the case of jointly and severally guaranteed public debt - it would identify the treaty changes necessary."
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