Sunday

17th Feb 2019

Commission proposes single euro seat in IMF

  • EU Commission vice-president Dombrovskis calls for a single euro seat at the IMF (Photo: European Commission)

The European Commission on Wednesday (21 October) proposed a single seat for the eurozone in the International monetary Fund (IMF) by 2025, in an effort to deepen the monetary union and give the currency bloc a unified voice in the global economy.

"If member states contradict each other, the Eurozone cannot gain the weight as its size of economies and share in IMF would suggest," Valdis Dombrovskis, Commission vice-president for the euro told press.

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

"It is to ensure that [the] euro area talks with one voice", he added.

As things stand, the 19 euro zone countries have 23 percent of shares in the IMF, but due to divisions between the countries, their influence often counts less. The United States has only 17.7 percent of shares, but since it speaks with one voice, it has more clout.

The 19 member states are also spread over different constituencies with the IMF, which have to reach a common position on issues, thereby further hindering a single unified euro voice.

The Commission's legislative proposal, which is the first in a series of proposals that will stem from a push to deepen the unity of the currency bloc following the euro debt crisis, calls for a single executive director at the IMF to represent the euro.

At the ministerial level, the Commission proposes that the president of the eurogroup, a gathering of the bloc’s finance ministers, which is currently held by Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, should represent the euro area.

The proposal will have to be approved by member states.

The push for a single seat at the IMF comes after the debt crisis prompted efforts to revamp the structures behind the single currency.

Other measures unveiled on Wednesday include a proposal to governments to set "national competitiveness boards", which would track the performance of countries on indicators such as wages and productivity.

There is also a plan for a "European Fiscal Board" to advise governments, starting from next year, on the enforcement of the EU's rules on deficits and debt.

Another proposal due before the end of the year is to focus on completing Europe's banking union by moving towards a common deposit insurance system, a scheme Germany currently opposes.

These are among the first concrete proposals following a report presented earlier this summer by the "five presidents" - European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, together with the president of the Euro Summit, Donald Tusk, Eurogroup president, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, European Central Bank president, Mario Draghi, and European Parliament president, Martin Schulz - on how to strengthen the monetary union.

Doubts emerge on IMF participation in Greek bailout

The IMF has indicated it won't take part in a third bailout for Greece unless a deal is reached on debt relief. Meanwhile the Greek PM has a called a September party congress on the bailout.

European Monetary Fund proposal to be ready by June

The European Commission has re-affirmed its willingness to come forward with a proposal for a European Monetary Fund, opening a Pandora's Box of questions regarding its potential design.

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.

Vestager says 'no' to Siemens-Alstom mega-merger

The EU blocked the merger of the makers of Germany's ICE and France's TGV trains, citing concerns of reduced competition and extra costs for consumers and taxpayers. The two countries now want to change the rules.

News in Brief

  1. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April
  2. 15,000 Belgian school kids march against climate change
  3. May suffers fresh Brexit defeat in parliament
  4. Warning for British banks over Brexit staff relocation
  5. Former Italian PM wants Merkel for top EU post
  6. Antisemitic incidents up 10% in Germany
  7. Italy's asylum rejection rate at record high
  8. Hungary will not claim EU funds for fraudulent project

Opinion

Eastern Europe Matters

The foreign ministers of Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic reflect on 10 years of the Eastern Partnership with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  2. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  4. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  6. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  7. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”

Latest News

  1. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  2. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  3. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK
  4. Belgian spy scandal puts EU and Nato at risk
  5. EU Parliament demands Saudi lobby transparency
  6. Saudi Arabia, but not Russia, on EU 'dirty money' list
  7. EU agrees draft copyright reform, riling tech giants
  8. Rutte warns EU to embrace 'Realpolitik' foreign policy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us