Thursday

30th Jun 2022

Schaeuble sees need for separate eurozone parliament

  • "The end of the discussion can not be, that we do nothing," Wolfgang Schaeuble told fellow EPP party members. (Photo: EPP)

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has laid out ideas on how the single currency area should evolve, including having a eurozone parliament.

"Some of the changes will reflect the new realities of the eurozone. For example, I can imagine there will be a eurozone parliament," he told members of the centre-right EPP party, Europe's largest political party, in Brussels on Monday (27 January).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • "Leave the door wide, wide open to member states which have not yet introduced the euro zone," said Schaeuble. (Photo: EPP)

He indicated that euro countries too often end up sidelining the EU institutions when it comes to decision-making, something that particularly riles the European Parliament.

Member states have been increasing turning to intergovernmental decisions – outside EU treaties – as they introduce legislation to tackle the roots of the EU’s economic crisis.

The nascent banking union as well as the European Stability Mechanism – the Eurozone bailout fund – are underpinned by intergovernmental treaties.

"We discussed the European bank resolution fund just last week, which will be financed with contributions from banks. But it cannot be introduced on the basis of the treaties in their current form,” said Schaeuble.

"We know treaty change is difficult - but the end of the discussion cannot be, that we do nothing."

"It would be relatively easy to achieve this by creating a eurozone parliament consisting of members of parliament from eurozone countries. This shows we can take certain steps even before getting treaty changes."

"But we need to be very careful to leave the door wide, wide open to member states which have not yet introduced the euro."

Schaeuble's plans - aired just four months ahead of EU elections – are likely to be controversial.

They raise questions about how the existing EU parliament would function alongside a new euro-focused institution. They are also likely to heighten concerns, particularly in non-euro Britain, that the eurozone is the political heart of the EU.

Swedish finance minister Anders Borg, who was also attending the discussion, expressed scepticism about the idea and questioned whether a new institution would improve citizens’ trust in the EU.

Eurogroup closes Schaeuble era

Eurozone finance ministers bade farewell to their longest-serving and most influential colleague, while preparing to also replace its chairman at the end of the year.

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.

Opinion

The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

News in Brief

  1. EU announces trade deal with New Zealand
  2. Russia threatens Norway over goods transit
  3. Russia urges Nato not to build bases in Sweden, Finland
  4. New president for European Committee of the Regions
  5. Gas flows from Spain to Morocco, after Western Sahara row
  6. BioNTech, Pfizer test 'universal' coronavirus vaccine
  7. UK sanctions second-richest Russian businessman
  8. Hungary permits emergency supervision of energy firms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  3. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  5. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers

Latest News

  1. Israel smeared Palestinian activists, EU admits
  2. MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship
  3. If Russia collapses — which states will break away?
  4. EU Parliament interpreters stage strike
  5. EU's post-Covid billions flowing into black hole
  6. Nato expands and reinforces on Russian flank
  7. EU Commission says it cannot find messages with Pfizer CEO
  8. EU ministers sign off on climate laws amid German infighting

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us