Thursday

13th May 2021

Merkel's party calls for eurozone exit clause

  • Merkel's CDU party wants 'permanent commissioners' in charge of budget sinners (Photo: s_zeimke)

With Germany pushing for a change to the EU treaty in order to toughen up economic governance, an EU resolution agreed Monday (14 November) by Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party gives an idea of Berlin's thinking on the matter.

The 23-page resolution says an EU convention - a multi-layered body required for profound treaty change - with a "clearly defined mandate" should be called.

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

The "goals" of treaty change discussion should be "automatic sanctions" within the stability and growth pact, with misbehaving member states liable to be taken to the European Court of Justice.

Meanwhile eurozone countries that are "permanently unwillingly or unable" to hold to the rules of the single currency should "voluntarily" be able to exit the eurozone.

Currently there are no rules on exiting the eurozone - an option first publicly aired when Greece threatened to have a referendum on its second bailout package - only for leaving the EU itself.

But before it comes to this step, however, the resolution suggests that states that get themselves into debt would be assigned a "budget commissioner" who would oversee public spending and restructuring measures. This person should have "powers to act" if the state failed to fulfil it duties.

Direct election of commission president

German centre-right politicians also suggest that the European Commission President should in future be directly elected by EU voters so that "political union gets a face."

Current rules say the president must be chosen in light of the European elections, meaning the person should come from the political family that gets the most votes.

But several have argued that agreeing a candidate beforehand would politicise a process that has long been seen as hollow democracy, with disinterested and ever fewer voters traipsing to European urns every five years.

This same political union, says the non-binding CDU resolution, should have a "democratic bicameral" parliamentary system, with the European Parliament representing citizens and the council of minister representing member states. Both chambers should have the right to initiate legislation.

Meanwhile, seats in the EU assembly should be distributed in a way that more strongly reflects national populations, with Germany the most populous EU member state.

Although the resolution is not binding, its gives a clear indication of the European path favoured by Germany's ruling party.

This is likely to strongly influence the debate in Brussels with EU council president Herman Van Rompuy due to president ideas on further EU economic integration - including those that involve treaty change - in early December.

Spectre of fresh EU treaty returns to haunt ‘incomplete’ Europe

So exhausted were they by the struggle by the time the soap opera ended, European leaders then swore it would be very long indeed, perhaps a generation, before the EU treaties would be opened again. But now, in the last few days, as Europe’s economy and the single currency stand on the precipice, these same leaders have begun to eat their words.

Merkel: eurozone crisis will take 'years' to solve

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has dismissed talk that next week's summit will bring about a definitive solution to the eurozone crisis, saying it will take years to overcome the single currency's problems.

Britain wants labour law opt-out in return for treaty change

British Prime Minister David Cameron has agreed to have a "constructive" look at an upcoming treaty change German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for, but in return, he wants a reinforced British opt-out from EU labour laws.

Catalan MEPs lose immunity, slam 'political persecution'

Catalan separatist MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí lost their parliamentary immunity - a result they have hailed as a "political victory" for bringing the conflict between Catalonia and Spain closer to the heart of Europe.

12-month Future EU Conference is 'impossible', expert warns

The debate about the much-delayed Conference on the Future of Europe so far has been locked in endless institutional infighting over who should lead the event - lowering the expectations about what can be achieved in the coming months.

News in Brief

  1. No EUobserver newsletter on Friday 14 May
  2. Germany stops Facebook gathering WhatsApp data
  3. Italy rebuts reports of EU deal with Libya
  4. MEPs demand EU states protect women's reproductive rights
  5. At least nine dead in Russia school shooting
  6. Bulgaria interim government appointed until July election
  7. German priests defy pope to bless same-sex couples
  8. New EU public prosecutor faults Slovenia

MEPs chide Portugal and Council in EU prosecutor dispute

The Belgian and Bulgarian prosecutors who were appointed had also not been the experts' first choice. Belgian prosecutor Jean-Michel Verelst has challenged the council's decision at the European Court of Justice.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU aims at 'zero pollution' in air, water and soil by 2050
  2. French police arrest Luxembourg former top spy
  3. Vaccine drives spur better-than-expected EU economic recovery
  4. Slovenia causing headaches for new EU anti-graft office
  5. 'No place to hide' in Gaza, as fighting escalates
  6. EU chases 90m AstraZeneca vaccines in fresh legal battle
  7. Fidesz MEP oversees FOI appeals on disgraced Fidesz MEP
  8. Belgium outlines summer Covid relaxation plans

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us