President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, called for the creation of a European border security body on Monday. In a key speech to the post-graduate College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium), Mr Prodi has criticised the Member States for delaying the economic reforms, necessary to complete the EU’s internal market.
Mr Prodi wanted to convey two main messages in his speech, marking the middle of his term-in-office:
- set out his vision of the EU’s future after the events of 11th September, and ahead of the EU summit of Laeken;
- reaffirm his role and that of the European Commission at the heart of the European Union.
The commission president tackled several key issues in his speech, such as:
- an EU-wide police force should be established to fight terrorism and organised crime;
- EU borders should be tightened to fight terrorism in the wake of 11 September attacks;
- promoting a dialogue between civilisations, notably with Arab nations south and east of the Mediterranean to help head off the danger of a “war of civilisations” between Islam and the West;
- Europe should be a global player, boosted by enlargement and the 2004 inter-governmental conference;
- European economic reform should be accelerated to protect growth and jobs;
- the EU should have its own independent resources.
Mr Prodi emphasisee that “an enlarged European Union can and must play a global role”. “Our security, our well-being and the peace of our continent can only be guaranteed by action on a global scale. The Community method is crucial to achieving this,” Commission president said. He called for the reinforcement of EU policies on internal security, economic co-ordination and more coherent international action.
Mr Prodi also warned that the Member States are dragging their feet on urgent economic reform, the completion of the single market and the creation of an European security area, and are reticent about the institutional reforms required by enlargement.