Monday

18th Feb 2019

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. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April
  2. 15,000 Belgian school kids march against climate change
  3. May suffers fresh Brexit defeat in parliament
  4. Warning for British banks over Brexit staff relocation
  5. Former Italian PM wants Merkel for top EU post
  6. Antisemitic incidents up 10% in Germany
  7. Italy's asylum rejection rate at record high
  8. Hungary will not claim EU funds for fraudulent project

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  2. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  4. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  6. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  7. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”

Latest News

  1. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  2. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  3. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK
  4. Belgian spy scandal puts EU and Nato at risk
  5. EU Parliament demands Saudi lobby transparency
  6. Saudi Arabia, but not Russia, on EU 'dirty money' list
  7. EU agrees draft copyright reform, riling tech giants
  8. Rutte warns EU to embrace 'Realpolitik' foreign policy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us