Europe

In quotes: EU treaty reaction

  • 9 December 2011
  • From the section Europe

EU leaders have failed to reach agreement between all 27 member states on changes to EU treaties to tackle the eurozone debt crisis. Eurozone countries - plus at least six other EU members - will press ahead with a new treaty to be agreed by March.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Media captionAngela Merkel says there has been 'a breakthrough' in the eurozone

I believe that what we have created here constitutes a tremendous step towards a stable Europe. It is a political signal...you can say that it is a breakthrough towards a union of stability.

We made clear that Europe has recognised the seriousness of the situation... and that we are determined to learn lessons from the past. We are seeing the causes of the crisis clearly. Step-by-step we are creating a new basis of trust, for the euro, for our common currency.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy

David Cameron asked for something that we all thought was unacceptable: a protocol in the treaty that would allow the United Kingdom to be exempt from a certain number of regulations on financial services. We weren't able to accept that because we consider, on the contrary, that a good part of the worries of the world come from the deregulation of financial services.

British Prime Minister David Cameron

Media captionDavid Cameron: "I did the right thing for Britain"

I think I did the right thing for Britain. We were offered a treaty that didn't have proper safeguards for Britain. I decided it was not right to sign that treaty.

The danger you have with a new treaty is that you're going to start distorting the single market, the European Union you're already in, you're already a member of, and so you should only take the risk of a treaty within a treaty if you're going to get the safeguards you need. That was the judgement I had to make.

President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy

As regards the calendar, I see two steps. Rather rapidly, following consultations with national parliaments we should know the number of participating states. I'm optimistic, because I know that it is going to be very close to 27. In fact 26 leaders are in favour of joining these efforts, but we will see. They recognise the euro is a common good. Then early March, at the latest, this fiscal compact treaty will be signed.

President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi

It's going to be the basis for a good fiscal compact and more discipline in economic policy in the euro area members. The meeting came to a conclusion which will have to be fleshed out in the coming days and then be implemented. It's a very good outcome for the euro area.

Head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde

I think what's really encouraging today is to see that the members that will be party to the agreement have decided three key components. Number one, they want to really consolidate their fiscal union, number two they've decided to accelerate the European Stability Mechanism and number three, they've decided to add to the resources of the International Monetary Fund by an amount of 270bn (202 euros:£173bn) that is to be confirmed within 10 days. So that's a really good step in the right direction.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague

Media captionWilliam Hague: "Standing aside from this treaty change is not isolation for the UK"

The United Kingdom is not in the eurozone, we are not giving up any more of our sovereignty. On this subject or any other subject, we are not going to give up more of our power from the United Kingdom to the European Union. In that sense we stand aside from that activity. But in so many other ways, in pushing forward policies of economic growth, in foreign policy issues,... it's the United Kingdom that sets the pace and leads the way, so it doesn't leave us outside any club... I don't accept at all the idea of a two-speed Europe - one could debate who would move at a faster speed, and certainly no-one should make the assumption the the eurozone moves at a faster speed than the United Kingdom.

President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso

From an institutional point of view it would be much more simple if we could have all the member states agreeing. Now it's also true that going through this way it will be most likely quicker, and this is important as well, because this can be achieved in a very, let's say, reduced timing.

Swedish Prime Minister Frederik Reinfeldt

It would be very odd signing up to a treaty pointing out as if we were a eurozone country. That was never the aim.

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos

The decisions taken are significant steps towards tackling the crisis, as well as avoiding seeing these kind of phenomena again in the future.