Monday

20th May 2019

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.

... or 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 top court backs Canada trade deal in ruling

The European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that the EU-Canada free trade agreement, and its controversial dispute settlement mechanism, is in line with the bloc's rules.

EU and Japan in delicate trade talks

The Japanese PM comes to Brussels to discuss the first results of the new EU-Japan free trade deal, plus WTO reform - a sensitive topic before he moves onto Washington to face Donald Trump.

News in Brief

  1. EU flies rainbow flag on anti-homophobia day
  2. EU to freeze money and visas of foreign cyber-attackers
  3. EU reassures US on arms sales
  4. Use euros over dollars in energy contracts, France says
  5. UK cross-party Brexit talks collapse
  6. Climate activists occupy German-Russian gas pipeline
  7. Farage got €515,000 of private perks
  8. French EU commissioner urges Italy not to overspend

Feature

Romania enlists priests to promote euro switchover plan

Romania is due to join the single currency in 2024 - despite currently only meeting one of the four criteria. Now the government in Bucharest is enlisting an unlikely ally to promote the euro to the public: the clergy.

Trump and Kurz: not best friends, after all

The visit of Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz to the White House on Wednesday showed that the current rift in transatlantic relations is deepening by the day.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us