Saturday

15th Dec 2018

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

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

  • "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.

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.

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.

News in Brief

  1. EU leaders endorse creation of eurozone budget
  2. Selmayr has no comment on MEPs' call to resign
  3. May had 'robust' discussion with Juncker
  4. UK to continue talks on EU 'assurances'
  5. EU invests €20m in AI software for self-driving cars
  6. Belgian PM 'not optimistic', urges 'no deal' Brexit preparedness
  7. Romanian president expects no Brexit summit in January
  8. Swedish MPs reject Lofven to lead new government

Opinion

EU parliament vote strengthens whistleblower protection

We must not undervalue what a massive step the European Parliament vote represents. The hard work has paid off. We can take a moment to celebrate, but the hard work begins again for finalising strong protection for European whistleblowers.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. No further Brexit talks planned, despite May's pleas
  2. EU leaders stuck on asylum reform
  3. Orban and other PMs spread fake news, says Juncker
  4. Fishing quota and no-deal Brexit preparation This WEEK
  5. Kosovo has right to own army, Germany and US say
  6. EU needs election-meddling stress tests
  7. Russian and US obstruction was 'insult' to climate scientists
  8. EU-27 unimpressed by May, offer little on Brexit

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us