In a debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Jill Evans MEP today spoke of the need for radical thinking to tackle the economic crisis in Europe.
Addressing Presidents Barroso and van Rompuy, Ms Evans said:
"The series of European summits since May 2010 have taken place against the backdrop of massive protests against cuts in public spending and job losses. Yet the result of the March council has shown once again that government leaders are focussed on spending cuts as the way forward.
"We all know the magnitude of the crisis. But I believe that crisis demands radical rethinking. It is a time to seize new opportunities - to learn from past mistakes and ensure we don't repeat them.
"The European economy has to be put on a path that will equip it for future challenges, like investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that can create thousands of sustainable jobs as well as protecting our environment. We need a long term plan for financial, social and environmental recovery."
Jill Evans said that the needs of the people should drive European economic policies:
"But the response we have now is one in which the costs are borne by the most vulnerable - those least responsible for causing such havoc in our economy. Young people in particular will feel more excluded and rejected instead of being encouraged to play a full part in building the kind of Europe we want to see.
We must show solidarity with all the people of Europe. I know from my constituents in Wales that we also have a lot to do to restore trust. To do this, we need investment in people, jobs and infrastructure to kick-start economic recovery."