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    In Washington, President Hoyer, ESM Managing Director Klaus Regling, ECB Executive Board Member Jörg Asmussen and Commission Vice-President Olli Rehn presented  Europe´s joint response to move out of the crisis in a roundtable organized by the Bertelsman Foundation.

    The panellists pointed to recent economic data showing first signs of a recovery.

    President Hoyer stressed that the EIB – as part of the integrated European approach to tackle the crisis – is putting emphasis on providing loans to business which would not otherwise have access to financing. He underlined that the EIB is committed to delivering significantly increased lending for SMEs; the backbone of the European economy.

    However the President – as the other panellists – warned against complacency.

    All participants underlined the crisis is not yet over and there are still major challenges ahead but that Europe has a coherent and consistent strategy in place to overcome the crisis

    The President of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, could not attend the panel discussion due to budgetary negotiations in the Hague.

    It was the second time that the European institutions had presented Europe’s joint strategy to an international audience in Washington.

    On the eve of the roundtable, the five senior representatives had published an editorial in the Wall Street Journal titled “Europe’s crisis response is showing results”.

    “This could be the turning point that we cannot afford to miss” says the editorial. “Our success depends on carrying through the modernization of our economies and the reduction of public debt”.

    Fiscal consolidation is improving, “the banking union is becoming a reality” and, as some of the program countries prepare to exit their support programs, the outlook for the euro zone has improved” write the senior representatives.

    “Our response to the crisis, which is based on an integrated approach by member states and European Institutions, is beginning to deliver results. Europe is becoming less vulnerable to external shocks, more competitive in global markets and more attractive to international investors” they conclude.