Van Rompuy stresses that progress on the banking union is particularly urgent

Following his meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, highlighted that progress on the banking union is particularly urgent. He added that setting up a single banking supervisor covering all banks in the euro area is key in this context. In addition to this, he assured that the euro is irreversible, and Greece's future is undoubtedly in the euro area.

The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, met in Madrid with Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. At the meeting, they agreed on the same basic assessment of the situation in Spain. Mr Van Rompuy show himself confident that the ongoing financial sector restructuring, if implemented fully, rapidly and thoroughly, will shed complete clarity on the situation of the banking system, restore confidence, stimulate the Spanish economy and eventually reduce the risks weighing on Spanish taxpayers. They may be costly and difficult in the short term but will contribute to growth and employment in the medium term, added the President of the European Council.

Mr Van Rompuy also confirmed that the Council has started a joint process to rethink the euro area's architecture in order to make sure that such crises never occur again. Thus, member states will work on the four building blocks that were already presented to the European Council in the June in the report Towards a Genuine Economic and Monetary Union. This includes an integrated financial framework, a so-called “banking union”, to reinforce financial stability and to prevent financial risks from becoming risks to taxpayers; also a form of fiscal union that recognises our deep economic interdependence and the need for collective action; an economic union that supports the competitiveness of the euro area as a whole but also corrects harmful macroeconomic divergences within the euro area; and a political union that underpins a more integrated economic union through appropriate accountability mechanisms.

The President of the Council took the opportunity to insist that Greece's future is undoubtedly in the euro area, and the euro is irreversible. He also underlined that it is only by combining strong actions in each member states and strong actions collectively that the EU can overcome the crisis.