Saturday

3rd Dec 2016

Hollande: EU parliament may need to be altered

  • The European Parliament - in future with MEPs and super euro MEPs? (Photo: European Parliament)

The eurozone has priority when it comes to further integration, says French President Francois Hollande, something that will eventually have to be reflected in the European Parliament.

"My position is that the solidarity integration has to happen first among the 17 [euro states], he said early Friday morning during a summit in Brussels.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Countries that have a "vocation" to join the single currency can also be involved.

He noted: "If we wait for the 27 to come to an agreement we risk waiting for a long time."

His remarks chime with recent 'two-speed-Europe' comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she would prefer to proceed with all member states, but those who want to press ahead should not be held up by others.

The statements are particularly pertinent for the UK, which is both urging the eurozone to integrate further to prevent collapse and warning it not to impinge on rules it likes - such as those to do with the single market.

However Hollande went further than Merkel. He suggested that a eurozone hub would have its own tailored institutions - a highly sensitive issue that risks once again exacerbating political tension between the euro ins and outs.

Speaking about the European Parliament he said: "In the long run there will be a reflection on how the parliament can bring the 17 alive ... because the 17 will have greater responsibilities."

The idea has been aired before. French Socialist MEP Pevenche Beres recently proposed eurozone deputies should alone be allowed to vote on single currency issues, a suggestion that attracted strong criticism at the time.

The French president also shed some light on how he would justify giving more sovereignty to Brussels - unpopular among his own socialist backbenchers. But it is a key issue for Berlin which wants more EU oversight on spending before it will consider any move to mutualising debt.

“The eurozone cannot stay in the state it is in today," said Hollande adding that a banking union is "indispensable" while a budgetary union needs a treasury that can lend money. "We are not there yet."

He said the eurozone needs common growth, competitiveness, industrial and energy policies leading to a political union that could justifiably see the transfer of sovereignty.

"The political union mentioned today does not have any content at the moment," he said

Analysis

Doubts hang over EU investment plan's future

Questions of value for money and a lack of transparency complicate adding almost €200 billion more and extending the Juncker investment plan to 2020.

News in Brief

  1. Talks on wholesale roaming rules to start
  2. Lead MEP Dieselgate committee: Italy and Slovakia will cooperate
  3. Transparency NGO sues EU commission on Turkey deal
  4. Pro-EU liberal wins UK by-election
  5. Finnish support for Nato drops, Russia-scepticism grows
  6. Cyprus talks to resume in January
  7. Documents from German NSA inquiry released
  8. Transport commissioner 'not aware' of legal action on emissions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. CESIElects Leaders and Sets Safety & Health at Work and Gender Equality Among the Guidelines For Next Term
  2. European Gaming & Betting AssociationContinues to Grow its Membership and Welcomes its Newest Member Association
  3. ACCASupports the Women of Europe Awards, Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  4. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  5. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  6. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  7. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  8. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  9. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Trasport and Mobility in Rome
  10. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)
  12. Access NowTell the EU Council: Protect our Rights to Privacy and Security