On 28 August, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy met with the President of the Government of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, in Madrid for an exchange of views about the current situation in Spain and on the European level.
On Spain, they shared "the same basic assessment of the situation" and attributed the current imbalances to both domestic factors and "deficiencies in the euro area's architecture". President Van Rompuy stressed that "all European stakeholders recognize the magnitude of the fiscal and structural reforms already undertaken and those planned". While admitting that the adjustments are difficult and need time to yield results, he pointed to the fact that European leaders "have stated during the June European Council their readiness to assist the Spanish authorities".
President Van Rompuy thanked the Spanish authorities for their contribution to the debate on the "flaws in the original architecture of the euro area". Work will continue on the four building blocks presented to the European Council in June. This includes an integrated financial framework, or banking union, a form of fiscal union, an economic union and a political union, with progress on the banking union being "particularly urgent".
President Van Rompuy was invited by the European Council in June to develop, in close collaboration with the President of the Commission, the President of the Eurogroup and the President of the ECB, a specific and time-bound road map for the achievement of a genuine Economic and Monetary Union. An interim report is due to be presented in October 2012 and a final report before the end of the year.
Both the short-term effects of the crisis and the more fundamental challenges for the euro area have to be addressed, President Van Rompuy concluded. And "this is exactly what European leaders are doing".
Press statement by President Van Rompuy (pdf)
June European Council Conclusions (pdf)