Wednesday

21st Nov 2018

Merkel wants EU treaty convention by end of year

  • Angela Merkel's ideas on a political union are not popular among EU leaders (Photo: World Economic Forum)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing for a new EU treaty convention by December, despite opposition from many countries, Der Spiegel reports in its latest print edition on Monday (27 August).

Merkel's push for a new EU treaty is in line with her demand for a true political union in return for debt being pooled in the eurozone and Germany's own constitution being changed to allow for more power transfers to Brussels.

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

But many countries have little appetite for a new treaty. Recent experience has proved the difficulty of getting new texts passed in all 27 member states. A planned European Constitution was rejected in 2005 by French and Dutch voters. Its successor, the Lisbon Treaty, was also initially rejected in an Irish referendum.

For a new treaty to be drafted, a so-called convention comprising representatives from national governments and parliaments, the European Parliament and the European Commission has to agree on a final text.

According to Der Spiegel, Merkel's EU affairs advisor Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut has "made it clear" during talks in Brussels that the German government wants the convention to be formed by the end of the year, with a first meeting to be agreed at an EU summit in December. Meyer-Landrut was spokesperson for the 2002-2003 convention, which drew up the European Constitution.

Having the EU's top court - the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) - ruling on budgets that are not in line with EU's fiscal rules would be part of Germany's vision for the new treaty.

Merkel had pushed for it during talks on a treaty on fiscal discipline signed by 25 EU states (Britain and the Czech Republic did not want to be part of it). In the end she was forced to accept a compromise under which the ECJ can only verify if the 'golden rule' of balanced budgets is properly transposed in national law. It cannot decide on actual budgets.

"I would have liked more, I would have liked the ECJ to check the budgets, but other colleagues did not want this. However, they do want eurobonds and a mutualisation of debt, but they do not want to give up more sovereignty," she said in June.

How far she will be able to go this time remains to be seen. A 'roadmap' on several avenues for the eurozone - a political, fiscal and banking union - is being drawn up by EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy and his counterparts at the EU commission, European Central Bank and Eurogroup of finance ministers. An interim proposal is due in October.

Analysis

Germany's competing visions of Europe

No doubt fed up of being cast as the eurozone's pantomime villainess once again, this time Angela Merkel got her rebuttal in first.

Merkel under pressure over ECB banking union role

Angela Merkel is coming under mounting pressure from the Bundesbank and the sister party of her Christian Democrat group to block EU plans to make the European Central Bank the central supervisor of a eurozone banking union.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary grants asylum to ex-Macedonia PM
  2. UK court rules against government in Article 50 case
  3. May to meet Juncker on Wednesday to finalise Brexit deal
  4. Future of EU's Mediterranean naval mission in doubt
  5. EU budget talks for 2019 collapse
  6. EU mulls new Russia sanctions over Ukraine 'elections'
  7. EU farm chief 'confident' sugar prices will recover
  8. Researcher: EU expert groups still imbalanced and opaque

Opinion

Dodgy regime lobbying is below the EU's radar

In Brussels, PR professionals and lobbying consultants are working for some of the world's most autocratic regimes. And we have no way of knowing for sure who they are, how much they are paid, or what they are up to.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Boycott threats mount on eve of Interpol election
  2. EU parliament to renege on transparency promises
  3. Cyprus and Greece to create EU spy academy
  4. MEPs likely to delay vote on greater transparency
  5. Cold shoulder for Franco-German euro budget plan
  6. Whistleblower: Danske Bank gag stops me telling more
  7. Spain raises Gibraltar, as EU and UK talk post-2020 relationship
  8. Panic is not answer to EU's security challenges

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us