Friday

18th Oct 2019

Eurozone should have own treasury by 2025

  • European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. The report is likely to cause some national governments to worry about sovereignty issues (Photo: European People's Party)

Eurozone states should cede more powers to EU institutions, including to a euro area treasury to be set-up in the next 10 years, according to a new report on further integration in the single currency area published on Monday (22 June).

"The world’s second largest economy cannot be managed through rule-based cooperation alone," says the report, drawn up by the heads of the European Commission, the EU Council, Eurogroup, the European Parliament and the European Central Bank (ECB).

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

  • Jeroen Dijsselbloem is both eurogroup president and Dutch finance minister (Photo: Ministerie van Financiën Nederland / Valerie Kuypers)

The eurozone “will need to shift from a system of rules and guidelines for national economic policy-making to a system of further sovereignty sharing within common institutions, most of which already exist and can progressively fulfil this task," it adds.

"In practice, this would require member states to accept increasingly joint decision-making on elements of their respective national budgets and economic policies."

The report, entitled 'Completing Europe's Economic and Monetary Union', comes on the same day that finance ministers and their government leaders of the euro area will meet to debate the Greek debt crisis, amidst renewed fear of a Greek exit from the eurozone.

The report refers to a “common destiny [which] requires solidarity in times of crisis and respect for commonly agreed rules from all members” and that those in the eurozone have given up their national currencies "once and for all".

The financial and economic crisis has “forced national governments and EU institutions to take quick and extraordinary steps”, but “the quick fixes of recent years need to be turned into a lasting, fair and democratically legitimate basis for the future”.

The report contains both medium- and long-term measures.

In the next two years, by 30 June 2017, each country should create a 'competitive authority', “a national body in charge of tracking performance and policies in the field of competitiveness”.

These bodies should be “independent entities with a mandate to ‘assess whether wages are evolving in line with productivity and compare with developments in other euro area countries and in the main comparable trading partners”.

The opinions of the authorities should be used by social partners in wage setting negotiations.

Other measures for the next two years include an advisory European Fiscal Board, completion of the Banking Union, and a reorganisation of the European Semester.

These changes should be possible witin the current EU treaty but other ideas such as eurozone finance ministry by 2025 are likely to require treaty changes.

“Euro area member states would continue to decide on taxation and the allocation of budgetary expenditures according to national preferences and political choices. However, as the euro area evolves towards a genuine EMU, some decisions will increasingly need to be made collectively while ensuring democratic accountability and legitimacy.”

The report also notes that the Eurogroup should have a full-time president. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the current eurogroup chief, is also Dutch finance minsiter.

The report, which is mostly the work of European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, is likely to raise sovereignty concerns in some captials.

However, the report argues that member states have already lost power during the financial crisis but without gaining any democratic oversight.

“At the height of the crisis, far-reaching decisions had often to be taken in a rush, sometimes overnight. In several cases, intergovernmental solutions were chosen to speed up decisions or overcome opposition. Now is the time to review and consolidate our political construct”, the report says.

Some of the report's ideas were voiced earlier this month in an op-ed by the German and French economy ministers.

Schaeuble said to want to split EU commission powers

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble would like the competition and single market departments removed from the European Commission, according to a report in Germany's leading centre-right daily.

News in Brief

  1. Macron: Nato's inability to react to Turkey a 'mistake'
  2. EU: US can expect counter measures after tariff move
  3. Almost 7,500 people forcibly returned to Libya in 2019
  4. Puigdemont released after responding to arrest warrant
  5. Commission: Facebook's Libra needs international approach
  6. Italian PM: denial of accession talks a 'historic mistake'
  7. Catalan president blames clashes on 'infiltrators'
  8. US imposes €6.7bn new tariffs on European products

Opinion

Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  2. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  3. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  4. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  6. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  10. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  12. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  2. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  3. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  8. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  9. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  12. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us