Monday

30th May 2016

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).

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.

  • "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.

Poland vows solution to judicial crisis

Polish PM Szydlo and EU commissioner Timmermans appeared to mend fences in Warsaw. But neither would say how Poland will address concerns.

News in Brief

  1. Syrian refugees sue Denmark over immigration law
  2. Ukraine bans Gorbachev for backing Crimea's seizure
  3. Dozens dead in two shipwrecks outside Libya
  4. Slovak PM says his country is no place for Muslims
  5. Juncker's spin-doctor warns of populist 'horror'
  6. EU urges Hungary to end discrimination of Roma children
  7. Majority of voters think UK will stay in EU
  8. Leading MEP says Greek bailout will not work

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCAEducation and Training 2020 - Giving Young People the Workplace Skills They Need
  2. EPSUTrade Unions Back New Undeclared Work Platform
  3. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCould targeting children’s fitness boost academic performance?
  4. World VisionDeclares the World Humanitarian Summit a Positive Step in a Longer Journey to Ending Need
  5. EJCPresident Dr. Moshe Kantor on Brexit and the Jewish Question
  6. Swedish EnterprisesNew rules for posted workers - Better Protection or the End of Posting ?
  7. World VisionWhy The EU Needs to Put Children at the Centre of Emergencies - In Their Words
  8. ACCASustainability Reporting in Danger of Losing Its Momentum Says ACCA and CDSB
  9. Dialogue PlatformDiversity as Heritage of Humanity! Join the “Colors of the World“ Show at the EP
  10. Centre Maurits CoppietersNew Responses to the Basque Peace Process? MEP Juaristi on Stateless Challenges Conference
  11. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceImproving Cardiovascular Health Begins by Closing the Gap in Sex Disparities
  12. IPHRBrussels Talks to Take Stock of Human Rights in Turkmenistan