Monday

10th Aug 2020

No eurozone-only assembly, say MEPs

  • The Van Rompuy paper will top the agenda at the October EU summit (Photo: European Parliament)

MEPs have dismissed suggestions that a new parliamentary body should be set up solely for eurozone members stating that “no new accountability structures specific to the euro-area must be established.”

In an unofficial reflection paper prepared by the three MEPs representing parliament in advance of negotiations with Herman Van Rompuy, the deputies said: "the Euro is the currency of the European Union and European Parliament is the parliament of the European Union. The European Parliament, therefore, is the parliament of the Euro."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Van Rompuy recently mooted the possibility of a separate body for the eurozone-17 in an ideas paper circulated to member states.

The EU Council chief also hinted at establishing "a central budget for the euro area" in order to "deal with asymmetric shocks and help prevent contagion."

The parliament's team of ‘sherpas’ consists of German conservative Elmar Brok, along with Liberal group leader Guy Verhofstadt, and Italian centre-left deputy Roberto Gaultieri.

In a five page memo, MEPs claim that reforms should be based on “four building blocks”: banking, fiscal, economic and political union.

In a bid to increase political integration, they also called for all European political parties to appoint a candidate for the Commission presidency for the 2014 elections.

Meanwhile, the Economic and Monetary Affairs commissioner should become the official "treasurer of the EU" and chair eurozone finance minister meetings.

The sherpas also insist that “a more integrated fiscal union should include different forms of fiscal solidarity, from short-term funding instruments on a limited and conditional basis, to gradual roll-over into a redemption fund.” This could also mean the swift introduction of joint liability eurobills to replace short-term government debt.

The idea of a redemption fund pooling all eurozone sovereign debt over the 60% threshold set out in the Stability and Growth Pact to be paid off over 20 years, was presented earlier this year by the German Council of Economic Experts and is unlikely to require a treaty change.

The paper comes as the parliament is set to begin battling with member states over the commission’s ambitious banking union legislation. Although the proposals include a revision of the rule-book establishing the European Banking Authority, which was jointly approved by MEPs and governments l in 2011, the regulation to establish the European Central Bank as the eurozone’s single financial supervisor only gives EU governments a say.

MEPs insist that they will treat the two files as a package with an equal say for parliament. They are also insisting on greater scrutiny powers over the ECB in its new role.

Negotiations between Van Rompuy, the commission and parliament will finalise a set of proposals to top off the agenda at the European Council summit on October 18-19.

Van Rompuy is hoping that member states can agree on the less politically-charged proposals which can be effected without a convention and treaty change.

Germany backs pooling of debt, no joint liability

The idea of a debt redemption fund for eurozone countries is not completely unpalatable to the German government, provided each state remains liable for its own debt, a German finance ministry official has said.

EU wary of violence in Belarus election

EU states have voiced fear of violence during Belarus elections on Sunday, as president Aleksander Lukashenko seeks to maintain his third decade in power.

News in Brief

  1. Germany breached rights of Madeleine McCann suspect
  2. EU offers trade perks to Lebanon
  3. Germany charges ex-Audi chiefs on emissions cheating
  4. UK quarantines Belgium, as European infections climb
  5. Bulgaria's Borissov mulls resignation
  6. EU prolongs anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel
  7. Swedish economy contracted less during April to June
  8. EU offers help to Lebanon after port explosion

Stakeholder

Renew Europe has a plan to combat gender-violence

This is not about supposedly traditional values – when was violence against women ever a value? – it is about living up to the European values we all signed up to. We have to put pressure on Poland.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. EU wary of violence in Belarus election
  2. Iraqis paid €2,000 each agree to leave Greece
  3. EU's most sustainable islands are Danish 'Sunshine Islands'
  4. Worrying rows over future EU chemicals policy
  5. Rainbow flag protesters charged by Polish police
  6. An open letter to the EPP on end of Hungary's press freedom
  7. Renew Europe has a plan to combat gender-violence
  8. Why EU beats US on green pandemic recovery

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us