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Eurozone solidarity means "loss of sovereignty": Van Rompuy

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(BRUSSELS) - Member states can't be allowed to make decisions on the eurozone on their own, EU president Herman Van Rompuy said Thursday, insisting that solidarity means "a loss of sovereignty for all".

In a thinly veiled criticism of the lead taken by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in attempting to steer the 17-nation eurozone out of its debt crisis, Van Rompuy said that more coherence at the European level was required to tackle the problems.

"We cannot have a common currency, a common monetary policy, and leave everything else to the states involved," the former Belgian prime minister said during a speech in the Belgian town of Louvain.

"And yet this is what we have experienced," he insisted. "There needs to be a coherence of policies and institutions at the European level," he added in his comments published on-line.

"Solidarity is a duty, not only a right," the president of the EU Council stressed.

"Solidarity within the euro area is now a matter of necessity and survival. We need to acknowledge that this means a loss of sovereignty for all, and not only for the countries in difficulty," he added.

Merkel has called for states that repeatedly violate the debt and deficit limits laid out in the EU's Stability and Growth Pact to be hauled before the European Court of Justice, a move which would require changes to the EU rule book.

Van Rompuy supported the actions of the European Central Bank (ECB), which has bought debt of the most troubled eurozone economies.

"We cannot deal with a crisis by applying everyday methods alone... What the ECB did had to be done to save the euro area as such. The objective is the important thing. The means for achieving it are not an end in themselves," he said.

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