Critics have argued that the EU’s response has not been strong or swift enough despite £370 billion’s worth of fiscal and monetary measures to restore confidence and boost demand. The EU though has limited room for short term manoeuvre given the size of its budget and its limited competence. It is the member states that have most of the tools for dealing with the crisis in terms of getting banks to lend again and ensuring that businesses, SMEs in particular, are viable. They should now be implementing their respective recovery plans at pace with greater political ownership and greater coordination.

However, the EU can make a real difference and turn crisis into opportunity by defending the single market and ensuring governments do not lose sight of the need for structural reforms. Indeed we call upon all candidates to ensure that they will hold their Governments and the new Commission to account: intervention in individual economies and sectors must not distort competition and the integrity of the single market must be preserved at all costs.