Thursday

19th Jul 2018

Central bank chief: EU needs a more European UK

  • London: The British PM has promised an in-out EU referendum in 2017 (Photo: murphyz)

In an unusually politically comment, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi has said Europe needs a more European UK.

“I cannot say which of the two sets of arguments is stronger, the economic or the political ones, neither am I going to enter into a domestic policy debate, but what I can say is that Europe needs a more European UK as much as the UK needs a more British Europe,” Draghi said in a speech on Thursday (23 May) at the City of London Corporation.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

Draghi's remarks come as the UK government is locked in intense debate over the country's EU future.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to renegotiate Britain's EU role and hold a referendum on its membership before the end of 2017, provided he wins the next general election in 2015.

Draghi went on to highlight the "deep interconnections" between the City of London - Europe's largest financial hub - and countries in the eurozone.

More than twice as many euros are traded in the City's foreign exchange market as in all the euro countries combined, some 40 percent of deposits placed with eurozone banks from outside the euro area come from the UK, while some 40 percent of all loans granted to non-euro residents are British, he said.

The eurozone is also the Britain’s largest export market and 40 percent of goods and services exported by UK businesses are delivered to the 17 eurozone countries.

"The UK and the euro area share a common interest: stability in the functioning of our economic system and particularly of our financial markets," Draghi said.

He explained that while the eurozone is "a more stable union today than it was a year ago," more steps, including "some transfers of national sovereignty" were needed for the financial crisis to be overcome for good.

“The answer to the crisis has not been less Europe but more Europe,” he said.

Draghi's comments also come as the British finance ministry is challenging in court what it sees as an attempt by the ECB to pull one of the world's biggest clearing houses inside the eurozone.

Finance minister George Osborne also launched legal action against a plan by 11 EU countries to introduce a tax on financial transactions.

The British government estimates that the City may be disproportionately be hurt by the "extra-territorial" principle in the tax plan as a large share of euro transactions go through the City and many European banks operate in the capital.

EU 'tax lady' hits Google with record fine

Margrethe Vestager has fined the US tech giant with €4.34bn for abusing its market dominance in mobile operating systems - but assured US president Donald Trump that it is not because she does not like America.

MEPs side with Fry over McCartney on copyright

The European Parliament decided to take more time studying proposed changes to the EU's copyright regime, amidst fears of 'upload filters' - and accusations of scaremongering.

Mr Juncker goes to Washington

European Commission president will meet US president Donald Trump before the end of July to try to "de-dramatise" the tense trade relations.

EU and Japan wave light in Trump's 'darkness'

EU leaders and Japanese prime minister signed a series of agreements, including the EU's biggest trade deal ever, designed as an answer to the disruption of the world order by the US president.

News in Brief

  1. Johnson slams 'dithering' May in resignation speech
  2. EU border guards to be sent to Macedonia
  3. Juncker investment plan exceeds target
  4. EU will reply 'tit for tat' to US trade measures
  5. EU Commission registers Brexit citizenship petition
  6. EU launches pre-accession probe for Albania and Macedonia
  7. Google faces multibillion euro EU fine for Android
  8. EU wants more guarantees from VW on Dieselgate fix

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  2. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  4. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  6. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  8. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  9. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  12. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us