Thursday

8th Dec 2016

Focus

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).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesMEPs and Business Representatives Debated on the Future of the EU at the Winter Mingle
  2. ACCASets Out Fifty Key Factors in the Public Sector Accountants Need to Prepare for
  3. UNICEFSchool “as Vital as Food and Medicine” for Children Caught up in Conflict
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  5. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  6. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  7. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  8. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  9. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  10. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  11. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  12. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children