On 10 October 2014 Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem gave a speech at the Altantic Council on the state of the eurozone recovery.
The eurozone countries acted decisively and took unprecedented steps to address the challenges to the currency union. The eurozone is stronger now than it was before the crisis. The strategy in dealing with the key structural challenges is now paying off.
Countries that vigorously implemented reforms have returned to growth. Next year, all of these countries will probably grow faster than the eurozone average. This shows that the eurozone must remain committed to its strategy and step up its efforts to strengthen the growth potential in a rapidly changing world.
“The eurozone must get its act together and regain its competitiveness and job-creating capacity”, said President Dijsselbloem. “At this stage, we have to move quickly to accelerate economic reform.”
These reforms have to be well designed. The design of fiscal, structural and investment policies has to be more tailor made and coherent.
Monetary or fiscal stimuli cannot replace the need to make our economies more competitive and fit for the 21st century. They can only buy policymakers time to take the reform agenda forward.
In his speech he dispelled some of the myths surrounding structural reforms and emphasized that they can strengthen the growth potential of the Eurozone, spur demand in the short run and can even improve public finances - also in the short term.
President Dijsselbloem calls for a comprehensive new Growth Deal for the euro area by connecting reform agenda, budgetary consolidation and supportive investments.
It should be considered that “any country seeking investment from European financial sources should put forward a detailed reform agenda with clear deadlines, a list of eligible investment projects and a clear commitment to honor budgetary recommendations.”