EUROPE – The finance ministers of France, Germany and the UK have made a joint statement about the need to reform pension systems.

“We need to give priority to growth, to reform our labour markets to create more and better jobs, and to reform our pension and health care systems to keep public finances on a sustainable footing,” say Francis Mer, Hans Eichel and Gordon Brown.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal Europe, the ministers added: “We need to phase in reforms on our pension and health care systems to ensure long-term financial sustainability and to limit the burden on future generations.”

“In France the priority is to address the challenges presented by an ageing population and to make work pay for all,” they wrote.

“We, the finance ministers of three large European economies, will continue to work together to progress reform both in our national economies, at the EU level and n the world economy.

“Our aim: a more open, more outward-looking, more resilient and more inclusive Europe, ready to play its full and proper role in global society.”

The trio added that they welcomed the European Central Bank’s recent half percent cut in interest rates, saying it “provides the right platform for the strengthening of domestic demand in the euro zone”.

The ministers were writing ahead of the European Council summit in Thessaloniki in Greece.