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  • 04.04.2017
  • 11:45
  • Pressiteade
  • 187/17
  • Euroala

Dear members of the European Parliament,

Thank you for your letter of 27 March 2017 in which you comment on my remarks in an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Allow me to respond to this letter and reflect on the specific issues you have raised.

In my interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung I have underlined the importance of solidarity and reciprocity within the European Union.

I made the point that the agreed framework is crucial for confidence in the Eurozone, both in the outside world and between member states. For solidarity between the member states, which I value very much, it is crucial that we all show commitment and responsibility. Let me recall the exact wording:

"Zum einen machen wir uns nach außen hin berechenbar, wenn wir ihn konsequent anwenden. Zum anderen wirkt der Pakt innerhalb der Eurozone vertrauensbildend. In der Euro-Krise haben sich die nördlichen Eurostaaten solidarisch mit den Krisenländern gezeigt. Als Sozialdemokrat halte ich Solidarität für äußerst wichtig. Aber wer sie einfordert, hat auch Pflichten. Ich kann nicht mein ganzes Geld für Schnaps und Frauen ausgeben und anschließend Sie um Ihre Unterstützung bitten. Dieses Prinzip gilt auf persönlicher, lokaler, nationaler und eben auch auf europäischer Ebene.”

In the days following the publication of the interview my words were linked to the situation in countries in Southern Europe during the crisis years. It is very unfortunate that this link was made as this was not what I said. And it certainly was not what I had intended. The crisis has impacted societies throughout the Eurozone at great social expense and solidarity has been very much justified.

Regrettably, some people were offended by the way I expressed myself. Choice of words is of course personal as is the way they are picked up. I shall be even more careful in the future as it is never my intention to insult people.

Building a community, including solidarity, comes with commitment to joint values, laid down in our legal agreements. Let me be absolutely clear, this applies to all members of the EMU. Frameworks like the Stability and Growth Pact and the Banking Union are what keeps the Eurozone united and strong. On this base we can build and take next steps together.

Let me conclude by saying that I remain fully committed to work together with you as members of the European Parliament and all European citizens to strengthen our economies and our monetary union.

Yours sincerely,

Jeroen Dijsselbloem

Cc: Mr Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament