EU Commissioner says Europe’s economy must serve society

The Institute for Global Financial Integrity (TIGFI), a Luxembourg non-profit institution dedicated to the strengthening of global financial integrity, welcomed the comments by the Vice-President of the European Commission,  Mrs Viviane Reding, at its monthly lunch meeting, held in the  Cercle Munster, Luxembourg on 30 September, 2010.

Mrs Reding, the Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship stressed the importance of ensuring that economic and financial structures respond to the needs of Europe’s citizens. In her speech, which concentrated on the event’s theme of “Financial Integrity in the Context of International Judicial Cooperation”, Mrs Reding outlined how new European structures to strengthen judicial cooperation across borders are being created.

“Europe is not anymore solely about the economy, the economy is there for the society, for the citizens and that is also why we have to get rid of these centuries old systems of justice, which are very good per se, but on a given territory, not for cross border activity.”
“ That is why I have taken the responsibility, not to eliminate the  justice systems in the European nations, but to build bridges  in those justice systems so they can function together. So that there is credibility - that a judge in Paris who needs to use German law knows about German law and knows also what the European directives are about,” said Mrs Reding.

Mrs Reding also described the Commission’s latest legislative proposals to strengthen the Stability and Growth Pact which, together with the financial markets reforms, are intended to demonstrate Europe’s determination to reform its financial landscape.
Introducing Mrs Reding as guest speaker, the former European Commission President, Jacques Santer, said the Commissioner  was now serving her third term in the Brussels-based executive, which he described as an “exceptional” achievement.
He pointed out the growing significance of Mrs Reding’s portfolio in the European Commission, as the executive had taken over greater responsibility for justice matters, which had previously been under the control of its member states.

During her question and answer session, Mrs Reding also answered diverse queries ranging from cross-border marriage and divorce law to inheritance rights. She also outlined the Commision’s plans for a new contract law regime, which would allow companies to select appropriate cross-border contracts.

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