On August 24 in New York, USCIB held a business roundtable with European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn at the EU Delegation to the United Nations. The discussion offered members a unique perspective on how Europe is overcoming the economic crisis, and the outlook going forward.
Brian Fix (Salans LLP), chair of USCIB’s European Union Committee, introduced Commissioner Rehn and highlighted some of the issues that USCIB member companies are focusing on in the EU economic policy area.
Commissioner Rehn said the EU’s recovery is occurring at an uneven pace, with Germany leading the pack, and expressed optimism for future growth. He outlined how the European Union has strived to reinforce fiscal confidence and contain further instability in the eurozone, praising the efforts of many EU members to impose harsh short-term monetary measures so as to achieve long-term stability. He also discussed the European Union’s legislative work on financial reform, with proposals expected by the end of September.
Commissioner Rehn emphasized the EU’s need to vigilantly maintain its “fire-fighting” abilities, while acknowledging that it is now “time for the architects to step in.”
USCIB members raised topics ranging from influencing exchange rates and the weakening of the euro, requirements for new member states under new economic models in the wake of the Greek debt crisis, EU enlargement policies, and stability in the eurozone with the European Financial Stability Facility.
The same day as the USCIB briefing, Commissioner Rehn published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the state of the Greek economy.