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Creighton: 'We need a competitive federal Europe'

Lucinda Creighton says that Ireland must forge a joint course with the rest of Europe in order to weather the current economic storm.

Image: Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER OF State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton has said she is “passionately” in favour of a establishing a federal Europe Union.

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School on Thursday, Creighton said the economic crisis had shown the EU system is “too slow and to difficult to cope with the fast moving pace of our globalised world”.

Creighton added that the Eurozone crisis was “only a symptom” of a much greater challenge – namely, competing with emerging economies like China and Brazil.

Federalisation, she said, could bring Europe closer to its citizens: “We need a competitive federal Europe. Often, the word federal is deemed in Ireland to be a bad word. I fundamentally disagree. Federalism is a very pure and transparent form of democracy.

“I don’t advocate a federation like that in the United States of America – that would not work in a Union of sovereign states as we have in Europe.  Rather I favour a federation of nation states, one which is built on the basis of the diversity of its members.”

Creighton said she saw a new federal system as providing a vehicle for Member States to assert their economic sovereignty in the global economy.  ”(Member States) may even regain some of the sovereignty that they’ve lost to globalisation, through greater coordination and added economic might.  States would benefit from such a federation as they would in fact gain for themselves more rights, more liberty, more authority, more opportunity than they might abandon,” she commented.

Creighton said that decision-making within the EU was often a complex and laborious process, and that federalisation would speed up decisions in areas vital to the European Union as a whole and enable the EU to “address some of the shortcomings” in the currency union and the single market.

“To survive this storm, we must jointly forge a course with our European neighbours,” she said.

Read: Creighton takes French lessons ahead of Ireland’s stint at EU presidency>

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