Sunday

17th Feb 2019

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. 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