Thursday

22nd Feb 2018

French minister: Rich EU states should transfer money to poorer members

  • "Status quo leads to self-destruction," says Emmanuel Macron. (Photo: OFFICIAL LEWEB PHOTOS)

French economy minister Emmanuel Macron is calling for "a new foundation of Europe", with a more integrated eurozone and fiscal transfers between richer and poorer countries.

"Status quo leads to self-destruction," he said in an interview with Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"Political and economical centrifugal forces are too strong" not to change things, he added.

Macron is proposing the creation of a euro commissioner with "extended powers" over the single currency, EU economy and finances, as well as employment and investment policies.

This super-commissioner would manage an increased EU budget to protect member states from financial shocks and foster investments.

"The higher the budget is, the more credible Europe is," Macron said, adding "we need a big leap".

He also suggests the eurozone should have its own parliament, composed of "MEPs who belong to eurozone countries".

New treaty

"We can already prepare the modifications of EU treaties", and implement them after the French and German elections in 2017, the French minister said.

"In 2018 or 2019, Europe would stand on a new, better basis".

But this vision, he notes, "breaks a German taboo" on the issue of transfer union.

"If the member states, like before, are not ready for any kind of financial transfers in the monetary union, we can forget the euro and the eurozone," he said.

"There cannot be a monetary union with no financial equalisation. The strong must help".

Macron's interview follows proposals made by French president Francois Hollande in July for a more integrated eurozone.

But he has dropped Hollande's idea of a "eurozone vanguard", while including the controversial transfer union proposal.

Whether Macron is acting as Hollande's messenger to speak to Germany's government and public opinion, or trying to boost his own stature at the European level, is unclear.

The 37-year old minister ruffled feathers in France last week when he criticised the 35-hour week, saying that "the left was wrong when it thought France would be better if it worked less".

The comments embarrassed Hollande's socialist government.

Analysis

Hollande's limited eurozone vision

With his proposals for a more integrated eurozone, the French president is looking beyond the Greek crisis. But does he have a plan?

Eurozone should have own treasury by 2025

Eurozone states should cede more powers to EU institutions, including to a euro area treasury to be set-up in the next 10 years, a new report says.

Agenda

Brits and French go to polls This WEEK

The British election will determine who will lead the UK out of the EU, while French leader Macron hopes to secure his base for more eurozone integration.

Baltic states demand bigger EU budget

The leaders of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania say in a joint letter that they are open to talks on creating "new own resources" for a bigger EU budget after the UK leaves the EU.

Analysis

We are not (yet) one people

Talks on the next EU budget will start on Friday. Brussels wants to do much more than before – and needs a lot more money. But arguing about funds won't be enough.

News in Brief

  1. EU migration to UK at lowest since 2012
  2. MEP Andrieu will chair parliament pesticide committee
  3. Juncker's right-hand man warns of 'institutional blockage'
  4. Greek parliament to open probe on PMs and EU commissioner
  5. May gathers Brexit ministers to hammer out UK position
  6. Tajani asks Juncker for all EMA Brexit relocation documents
  7. Hahn: EU to back entry talks with Albania and Macedonia
  8. UEFA signs deal to promote 'European values' at EURO 2020

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  2. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  3. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  5. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  6. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  8. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  9. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  11. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  12. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name

Latest News

  1. Frontex: Europe's new law enforcement agency?
  2. Poland and Greece broke EU environment laws, rules court
  3. Dutch MPs vote on ending 'Ukraine-type' referendums
  4. Corruption report: Hungary gets worse, Italy makes progress
  5. UK seeks flexible transition length after Brexit
  6. Commission defence of Barroso meeting leaves 'discrepancies'
  7. MEPs bar WMD and killer robots from new EU arms fund
  8. Canete gets EU parliament pension while still commissioner