Saturday

25th May 2019

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 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join 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.

EUobserved

Don't tell the Dutch - but Timmermans 'won'

The victory of the Dutch EU commissioner is news across the EU, yet the Netherlands is not allowed to publish the official result until Sunday evening.

News in Brief

  1. UK's May announces June 7 resignation date
  2. Ireland votes for EU election and divorce referendum
  3. Report: May to announce resignation plan on Friday
  4. Leading politicians: time for EU to have female leaders
  5. Poll: Finland's Green party to surge in EU elections
  6. High demand for postal voting in Denmark
  7. Some EU citizens turned away at UK polling stations
  8. Switzerland unlikely to sign draft EU deal

Magazine

All about the European Parliament elections 2019

EUobserver's new magazine is meant to help readers prepare for the European Parliament elections, no matter their level of knowledge. You can download and read the entire magazine now.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Latest News

  1. Irish greens take Dublin in second EU exit poll
  2. EU election results to trigger top jobs scramble This WEEK
  3. Don't tell the Dutch - but Timmermans 'won'
  4. EU says goodbye to May with 'respect'
  5. Strache scandal: how big a hit will Austrian far-right take?
  6. Italy train row exposes competing views of EU
  7. Dutch socialists on top in first EP election exit poll
  8. No usage data kept for EU parliament's 'Citizens' App'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us