24th Mar 2018

Deal near on eurozone economic governance laws, says Rehn

MEPs and ministers are on the verge of agreement on far-reaching economic governance proposals for eurozone states, according to EU economic commissioner Olli Rehn.

The proposals give the commission more powers to scrutinise national budgets and demand changes to national debt and deficit reduction programmes.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Speaking with reporters after a meeting of euro finance ministers on Monday (11 February), Rehn said that "a positive conclusion … is within reach."

He added that the files are "important in their own right, but also because they are an essential foundation for further progress in rebuilding our economic and monetary union."

MEPs on the European Parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee voted on the legislation - known as the "two-pack" - in June 2012.

But the talks stalled over the parliament's insistence on retaining a clause calling on the commission to propose the creation of a Redemption Fund to pool around €2.3 trillion of eurozone government debt exceeding the 60 percent limit set out in the Stability and Growth Pact.

Germany leads a group of countries strongly opposed to any moves towards a system of debt mutualisation.

Instead, Germany says it could accept a formula where member states remain liable for their own debt and table detailed plans on how they plan to reduce it.

MEPs remain strongly in favour of moving towards a system of common eurobonds, arguing that they could reduce speculative attack against individual countries on the bond market and lower borrowing costs.

But the topic is a taboo at least until German general elections on 22 September.

The parliament had also called on the commission to table legislative proposals worth 1 percent of GDP to fund infrastructural investment to boost job creation and economic growth.

Meanwhile, eurozone finance ministers reiterated their commitment to finalising a bail-out package for Cyprus before the end of March, after a new government takes office following presidential elections.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister and newly elected chair of the eurogroup, said that he first wants representatives of the troika - the EU commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund - and the Cypriot government to agree on the terms of reference for a detailed assessment by a commercial audit firm on the Mediterranean island's implementation of anti-money laundering legislation.

Dijsselbloem also revealed that the French government aims to instigate a debate on whether leaders should agree an exchange rate policy for the euro.

He said the talks would take place at the upcoming meeting of the G20 in Moscow starting Friday (15 February). Germany, in particular, is against the idea.

EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'

EU leaders demanded a permanent exemption from US tariffs on steel and aluminium - and ruled out any bilateral trade talks within the 1 May deadline set by Donald Trump.

News in Brief

  1. EU wants 'Paris' climate strategy within 13 months
  2. Workload of EU court remains high
  3. Spain's supreme court charges Catalan separatist leaders
  4. EU calls for 'permanent' exemption from US tariffs
  5. Summit backs guidelines for future EU-UK talks
  6. Macron support drops as public sector workers go on strike
  7. EU leaders condemn Turkey for illegal actions in Aegean Sea
  8. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. Nordic states discuss targeted Russia sanctions
  2. Commission sticks to its line on Barroso case
  3. Germany and France promise new Russia sanctions
  4. EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'
  5. Tariffs and Turkey will top This WEEK
  6. EU leaders roll over Brexit talks amid Trump and Russia fears
  7. Europe needs corporate tax reform - a digital tax isn't it
  8. EU data chiefs rally behind UK over Cambridge Analytica