Tuesday

22nd Jun 2021

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.

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

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.

Eurozone needs 'limited fiscal solidarity'

The eurozone should consider introducing treasury bills, a special budget and a finance ministry, says a new ideas paper ahead of next week's summit.

News in Brief

  1. UEFA: No rainbow 'pride' stadium illumination at Hungary match
  2. Italian PM calls to move Euro 2020 final from London to Rome
  3. UN warns of 'cascade of human rights setbacks'
  4. Minister urges Belgians to ignore speculation over dead soldier
  5. Swedish government toppled in no-confidence vote
  6. EU takes aim at British TV and film perks
  7. Iran nuclear deal: President-elect Raisi issues warning over talks
  8. EU agriculture spending 'failed' to reduce farming emissions

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 MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. Latest EU sanctions to bite Belarus dictator's income
  2. Libyan detention centres must end, EU says
  3. Poland and Hungary sanctions procedure back after pandemic
  4. Sánchez risks 'betrayal' call with pardon for jailed Catalans
  5. EU a 'Wild West' for China's unsafe toys, gadgets and clothes
  6. 'You'll never walk alone' - our message to women
  7. Too soon to lift EU sanctions on Burundi, NGOs warn
  8. EU to wage economic war on Belarus dictator

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us