25th Oct 2016

EU summit draft backs 'separate' eurozone budget

  • EU notables celebrate Estonia's euro-adoption in 2010 (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

Member states are warming to the idea of having a eurozone budget on top of the joint EU budget, with the latest draft conclusions ahead of next week's summit clearly separating the two.

Dubbed "fiscal capacity," the new budget "would be specific to the euro area and therefore not to be covered by the Multiannual Financial Framework," the EU's common, seven-year budget, the draft prepared by EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy says.

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.

The latest wording on the idea of a eurozone budget, which was already floated in June, is an indication that consensus is building around the move in member states, provided it does not affect the current negotiations on the EU budget for 2014-2020.

Even for non-euro countries - which are usually wary of creating a "two-speed" Europe - the idea is becoming acceptable as long as it does not mean less money in the common pot.

Polish EU minister Piotr Serafin told Gazeta Wyborcza on Wednesday (10 October) that his country "does not fear a eurozone budget" as it would be separate from the joint EU fund.

"Moreover, we are not talking about something that will happen on 1 January. The idea is not very mature and it is difficult to imagine that such a mechanism would begin to work ... by 2014," he added.

Serafin also noted that there is no clarity for now on how the extra budget would be used.

"Definitely it would have to be somehow related to economic policy and competitiveness in the euro area. Discussions on this topic will not end quickly," he predicted.

Meanwhile, the UK, which is pushing for a reduction in the common EU budget, has also spoken in favour of a separate eurozone fund.

"There will come a time when you need to have two European budgets, one for the single currency, because they are going to have to support each other more, and perhaps a wider budget for everybody else," British Prime Minister David Cameron told the BBC on Sunday.

More parliamentary debates

The latest draft conclusions also reflect discussions with the European Parliament on the future architecture of the eurozone, with more details included in the part on democratic scrutiny.

"In this spirit, ways to ensure a debate in the European parliament and in national parliaments on the Country Specific Recommendations [economic policy guidelines issued for each member state by the EU commission] adopted in the context of the European semester [increased co-ordination of economic policies] should be explored. The role of the social partners should also be enhanced," the text says.

EUobserver understands that one of the ideas on how to achieve extra parliamentary scrutiny is to have EU commissioners go to national parliaments for hearings.

Another idea is to have more ministers from member states appear in the European Parliament to explain tax or labour market reforms under way in their countries.


Europe ready to tackle Greek debt relief

The Greek government has built and broadened alliances in EU institutions and member-states that acknowledge the need to restructure the debt and deliver another economic model for the eurozone.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFADraft Bill for a 2nd Scottish Independence Referendum
  2. UNICEFCalls on European Council to Address Plight of Refugee and Migrant Children
  3. ECTAJoin us on 9-10 November in Brussels and Discover the new EU Digital Landscape
  4. Access NowCan you Hear me now? Verizon’s Opportunity to Stand for Global Users
  5. Belgrade Security ForumMeaningful Dialogue Missing Not Only in the Balkans, but Throughout Europe
  6. EuropecheEU Fishing Sector Celebrates Sustainably Sourced Seafood in EU Parliament
  7. World VisionWomen and Girls Urge EU Leadership to Help end Gender-based Violence
  8. Dialogue PlatformIs Jihadism Blind Spot of Western Intellectuals ? Wednesday 26 October
  9. Belgrade Security ForumGet the Latest News and Updates on the Belgrade Security Forum @BelSecForum
  10. Crowdsourcing Week EuropeMaster Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Innovation! Conference 21 November - 10% Discount Code CSWEU16
  11. EJCEU Parliament's Roadmap for Relations with Iran a Massive Missed Opportunity
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersFish Skin on Bare Skin: Turning Fish Waste into Sustainable Fashion