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How Europe is overcoming the crisis

The EU Delegation launched a new lecture tour about the euro and the EMU (or the Economic and Monetary Union) in China spelling out "how Europe is overcoming the crisis". The new tour will be split up in different legs and go back to some of the prominent universities visited over the former information campaign in 2011-2012 (such as North-West University in Xi'an, Nov. 2013, and Fudan University in Shanghai, Mar. 2014), whilst broadening it to other universities in important cities (like Jinan university in Guangzhou, Apr. 2014). We hope to continue travelling across China in the second half of 2014.

The euro, a currency for Europe  

In the midst of the financial crisis in 2011-12, the questions about the European currency, the euro, were many:

  • What's the purpose of the euro?
  • What are its benefits?
  • Why is the euro important for China?

We tried to provide answers to these questions and many others in our exhibition "the euro, a currency for Europe". The main content of the stand-alone exhibition that was on tour has been reproduced in a brochure that can be downloaded here .

The euro information campaign "the euro, a currency for Europe" was launched late 2011 and travelled to 12 different cities across China: i.e. from Xian, Chengdu or Chongqing in the west to Shanghai and Nanjing in the east; Wuhan in the middle and from Harbin and Beijing in the north to Guangzhou and Xiamen in the south. It has been on display at different top universities for about a week each and more than 34,000 students have seen it.

Is the current crisis leading to a break-up of the euro? Despite some media reports to the contrary over the past year, the current crisis is not leading to a break-up, thus not to "less" but is likely to result in "more Europe". At each campaign stop senior EU officials have explained to some 2,500 students the history behind the euro; the root-causes of the crisis; the measures taken to address them and why the crisis is not only a challenge but also an opportunity to move towards a genuine Economic and Monetary Union. It will take time, but the direction is very clear.

In Beijing, the EU's two top leaders: Council President Van Rompuy and Commission President Barroso discussed the role of the euro in the international monetary system together with the Chinese Governor Zhou in front of close to 1,000 VIPs, students and faculty members in an extraordinary event at the University of Business and Economics at the margin of the 14th EU-China summit in Feb. 2012.

euro exhibition

In Shanghai, the Director General in charge of dealing with the euro crisis on a daily basis in the EU Commission: Mr. Buti, met with students at Fudan University on 15 Oct. 2012 where he explained the many measures taken (i) in the short term, to help vulnerable countries and to create financial safety nets; (ii) in the medium term, to enhance growth through structural reforms; and (iii) in the long term, to provide robust and integrated economic governance, thus moving towards a banking, a fiscal, an economic and, subsequently, a political union. While the political economy of Europe is such that progress is sometimes slow, the recent Nobel peace prize is a timely reminder why the euro is so much more than a currency aimed at improving the single market for goods, services, capital and people. It is a symbol of integration across 17 countries. A symbol that the EU has for more than 60 years contributed to increased stability and prosperity on European soil. Looking back, the EU has typically advanced the most during difficult times. Mr. Buti ended his presentation with an African proverb: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." The presentation Mr. Buti used can be found here in English [2 MB] and in Chinese [2 MB] .


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