Wednesday

20th Nov 2019

Germany in renewed push for EU treaty change

  • Wolfgang Schaeuble: "I also fell to the temptation of deregulation, deregulation, deregulation" (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said discussions on revising the treaty to secure the eurozone's architecture will begin after the May EU elections.

"After the EU elections the debate about treaty change will be back on the table. The federal government will plead for institutional improvements, at least in the eurozone. The monetary union needs a joint finance- and economic policy, with corresponding institutions," Schaeuble said in an interview with Handelsblatt published on Thursday (27 March).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 year's of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

He repeated his call for a eurozone parliament and a permanent chief of the Eurogroup, the informal gathering of eurozone finance ministers.

Schaeuble made similar comments in a speech in the Belgian city of Bruges the same day and in a joint op-ed with his British counterpart, George Osborne, published in the Financial Times.

The British government is seeking support for its own reformist agenda, which revolves around Prime Minister David Cameron's attempt to renegotiate the terms of UK's membership of the EU, culminating in a referendum on whether the country should remain in the Union.

Schaeuble subscribed to the idea that further eurozone integration should not become a disadvantage for the countries outside the euro.

“So future EU reform and treaty change must include reform of the governance framework to put euro area integration on a sound legal basis and guarantee fairness for those EU countries inside the single market but outside the single currency,” the two ministers wrote.

The Conservative government in Britain, traditionally close to business and banking interests, is concerned that the nascent banking union in the eurozone and further regulation of the financial system will impact London's financial powerhouse.

Speaking at Bruges' College of Europe, Schaeuble sought to allay these fears, saying that "as long as the UK will not join the eurozone, maybe we can find a two-speed solution,” FT reports.

But in a self-promotion video posted on YouTube, Schaeuble also said that "freedom needs rules and boundaries."

"I also fell to the temptation of deregulation, deregulation, deregulation. And in the end, financial markets destroyed themselves. And who had to rescue them? The stupid politicians, who suddenly were good enough for that. That's why we are applying the lessons learnt and create rules. They don't like it, but it has to be," the German finance minister said.

Schinas spars with MEPs over migration job title

A number of MEPs pressed Margaritis Schinas to drop the "Protecting the European Way of Life" title of his portfolio, which deals with migration. But Schinas refused, claiming it needs protecting from terrorists and populists. He failed to convince.

Poland's 'vague' nominee flops in EU hearing

Poland's nominee for agriculture commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, is likely to face a second hearing after MEPs from top political groups lambasted his "vague" performance on Tuesday.

Analysis

How MEPs will quiz the next commissioners

The EU parliament will organise public hearings to assess the future commissioners' suitability for their job and their knowledge about the portfolio they had assigned, before the new EU commission takes office on 1 November.

Interview

EP must be tougher on nominees, MEP says

European commissioners ought to be forced to sell shares in firms that they will one day regulate, a French MEP at the coalface of an EU vetting process has said.

Parliament outmanoeuvred in EU top-post game

The European Parliament on Tuesday lost a years-long power struggle, and gave up winning more influence on European politics via the so-called Spitzenkandidat process it had championed.

Who is the new EU parliament president, David Sassoli?

The 63-year-old centre-left Italian MEP was elected president of the European Parliament, with 345 votes. A former journalist, Sassoli has experience as a vice-president of the parliament, but is little known.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  3. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  5. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  6. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  7. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  9. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021

Latest News

  1. New calls for Muscat to resign over journalist's murder
  2. Tusk pledges 'fight' for EU values as new EPP president
  3. Don't lead Europe by triggering its fears
  4. Finland: EU 'not brain dead' on enlargement
  5. The labour market is not ready for the future
  6. Parliament should have 'initiation' role
  7. AI skewed to young, male, and western EU, report warns
  8. US and EU go separate ways on Israeli settlers

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us