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Published: 12 september 2013 16:40

Eurofi chairman Jacques de Larosière: Europe is becoming more integrated and competitive

Jacques'as de Larosiere'as
Jacques de Larosière

European economy is becoming more and more integrated and countries are getting more and more competitive on the world’s market, Jacques de Larosière, Chairman of Eurofi, a European think-tank, has said.

“My understanding is that European economy is getting more and more integrated. This looks more paradoxical, because everybody is speaking about fragmentation of the Union, but my view is a bit different. I think there has been an enormous work done in many countries - Lithuania is one. But there are other cases that we call peripheral countries, if you look at fiscal positions of these countries (...) you will see that they are all moving towards a much more conversed situation” former president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said at an Eurofi conference in Vilnius on Thursday.

“This is paying off and although there is a lot of unemployment, there’s a lot of suffering in those countries, there is also an improvement to their capacity to compete,” he added.

If integration in Europe was actually taking place, European economy would grow and the situation would change, Eurofi Chairman said.

“Contrary to all that is said, there is underground movement towards conversion and integration, if that is true, you are going to see more growth in Europe. (...) Will that be followed by other positive boosts is to be seen, but my understanding is that Europe is on a mend and things are going to be better. (...) We always say that everything is hopeless, but I think we are improving,” Larosière said.

Much had been done in Europe of lately and the advances made had been stronger than ever before, he said.

“I think we made more progress of what I called the reintegration of euro zone countries in three years than we had in ten years before. I think we are on the right path, it’s a trajectory, if a trajectory continues, it's okay,” the banker said.

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