Tuesday

11th May 2021

Trichet: EU treaty change needed to 'impose decisions' on states

  • Greek watching Trichet on a big screen earlier this year (Photo: dielinke_nrw)

The outgoing head of the European Central Bank (ECB) has called for a change to the European Union treaty to allow for the outside imposition of economic policy on a member state.

ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet told French broadcasters on Sunday (16 October) following a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Paris that such a step is necessary in the wake of the eurozone crisis to guard against any one member state endangering the single currency area.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"It is necessary to change the treaty to prevent one member state from straying and creating problems for all the others," he said. "To do this, one even needs to be able to impose decisions."

Trichet, who will soon be leaving the central bank after eight years at the top of the organisation, said that in the absence of a federal state, such external supervision is required.

"We don't have a federal budget, we don't have a political federation so we have to fully respect the constraints and the mutual supervision rules that exist in the euro zone," he said.

Ministers at the G20 meeting of national economy chiefs from the world's leading economic powers issued a joint statement expressing hope that an EU summit dedicated to the crisis next weekend (23 October) will draw a line under the eurozone's problems, saying they expect the bloc to "decisively address the current challenges through a comprehensive plan."

The summit - split into two parts between the wider EU bloc as a whole and the smaller 17 nations of the euro area - is to unveil a package of measures including a recapitalisation of Europe's banks, an expansion of the eurozone's rescue mechanisms to convince markets Spain and Italy are safe from contagion and a significant write-down of Greek public debt.

France and Germany, for some weeks now at loggerheads over the scale of such a Greek haircut for investors, appear to be closing in on a common position.

"We have points of agreement that are emerging and we'll have an agreement on this question," French finance chief François Baroin said following the G20 meeting. "Heads of state and government, in particular the chancellor and the president to put together the elements of the agreement on 23 October."

After months of strong criticism from across the Atlantic, Washington gave its imprimatur to the progress European powers are making in developing a comprehensive plan to put the crisis behind them.

"They clearly have more work to do on the strategy and the details, but when France and Germany agree on a plan together and decide to act, big things are possible," US treasury secretary Geithner said.

"I am encouraged by the speed and direction in which they are moving."

EU treaty change should be limited, says parliament president

Amid general weariness about the thought of changing the EU treaty once more, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek has suggested an open-and-shut scenario where any tweaking be kept to the area of economic governance.

Cameron tries to save face on mooted treaty change

A 'limited treaty change' will allow Britain to 'advance its agenda', British PM Cameron said Sunday after failing to stop EU leaders from opening that perspective, one day ahead of a key vote in the British parliament.

MEPs want 'convention' on EU treaty

The corridors of the European Parliament are alive with talk of possible EU treaty change, a multi-tentacled process that once opened is difficult to keep a lid on.

News in Brief

  1. Israeli rockets kill 20 people in Gaza retaliation
  2. No more EU expulsions likely over Russia bomb attacks
  3. EU ready to ignore Hungary veto on Hong Kong
  4. Borrell admits EU neglect of Western Balkans
  5. Macron accused of 'cowardice and deceit' in military letter
  6. EU citizens in UK applying for settled status face legal limbo
  7. Netherlands gives €2bn to offshore carbon storage project
  8. Germany will allow Johnson & Johnson vaccine for all ages

Vietnam jails journalist critical of EU trade deal

A journalist who had demanded the EU postpone its trade deal with Vietnam until human rights improved has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. The EU Commission says it first needs to conduct a detailed analysis before responding.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. Russia penetrated Merkel's 'inner circle', Khodorkovsky says
  2. First recovery euros could be paid out in July
  3. Commission wants help for Italy after weekend's migrant arrivals
  4. Mercosur trade deal will fuel 'poison pesticides' back into EU
  5. Can new Iran talks avoid mistakes of the original JCPOA?
  6. EU and US urge Israel to defuse Jerusalem violence
  7. Frontex 'mislabelling minors as adults' on Greek islands
  8. Has Albania really met the 15 tests to join the EU? No

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us