Experts paint very negative picture of EU state

Experts paint very negative picture of EU state

HomeEuropeEU Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:4AM

Leading experts have painted a very negative picture of the current state of the European Union during a conference in the Belgian capital, Brussels, Press TV reports.

At the Wednesday conference entitled “State of the Union 2015,” economists, policy analysts, energy experts and lobby groups from across the EU discussed a broad range of problems currently facing the bloc, including poverty, unemployment, political instability, racism towards immigrants and ethnic minorities.

A senior economist at the event told Press TV that the eurozone has never been out of crisis since 2008 despite claims made by EU officials about recovery of the bloc.

“The crisis is not finished. The European Union is still not complete and we still need to work on architecture and the ways to solve the problem,” said Gregory Claeys.

EU-Russia ties

The EU’s poor relationship with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine was also debated at the Brussels conference.

Experts said that EU politicians need to rebuild relations with Moscow because the bloc depends on Russia for two thirds of its gas demand.

“We need the supply from Russia, and energy security in the existing conventional system cannot be achieved… without Russia,” said energy expert Kirsten Westphal.

They also warned EU policy-makers that Russia can easily begin selling its huge energy reserves to other states such as China.

Thierry Deschuyteneer, an energy expert, also told the conference that “Europe was near the monopoly export market for them, now they are also going to China and if the contest is not improving with Europe, they will go further to China and they have ability to do that.”

The participants also expressed concern over the anti-immigrant sentiment currently spreading throughout the EU. Analysts say it amounts to nothing short of racism.

Many European countries plunged into a financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which in return have caused hardships for and protests by citizens.

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