Monday

19th Feb 2018

Dutch want Constitution to strengthen euro rules

A week before a crucial EU summit on the Constitution, to be held on 12 and 13 December in Brussels, the Dutch government has announced it will push for extra legal guarantees to force EU countries to comply with the Stability and Growth Pact.

In an interview on Dutch public television on Sunday (7 December), the Dutch state secretary for European Affairs Atzo Nicolaï demanded that the new Constitution include expanded powers for the European Court of Justice over the Stability Pact – the rules that underpin the euro.

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.

According to Mr Nicolaï, an increase of power of the European Court of Justice would avoid further 'political fiddling' with the stability pact by big member states. This would be a 'very important' point for the Netherlands in the negotiations on the EU Constitution, he added.

Breaking the Pact

On 25 November, France and Germany, two countries that are formally in breach of the Stability Pact rules, escaped fines from the European Commission following a majority decision by the finance ministers from the euro zone (the 12 countries that share the euro).

Immediately after this decision, the Dutch government considered taking France and Germany to the Court of Justice, but decided it did not have a strong enough case under the present euro pact rules.

It now wants these powers enhanced.

Blow to voters confidence

According to Mr Nicolaï, additional safeguards on the stability pact are necessary to restore trust in the EU among Dutch voters.

The State Secretary said that the Stability Pact crisis has left the impression among Dutch citizens that big member states apparently do not have to comply with European agreements.

There are fears that the whole affair could negatively influence the result of the referendum on the Constitution.

On Thursday 4 December, the think-tank CPB (Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis) published a report which projects that the Dutch budget deficit will hit 3.25 percent of GDP in 2004 - above the three percent ceiling allowed by the euro rules.

The Dutch Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm, however, strongly dismissed the projections.

The Ministry of Finance said that they would examine their budgetary position on the basis of their own analysis in the Spring Report, not on the basis of other figures.

Poland shows no sign of concessions to Commission

While the dialogue between Warsaw and the Commission has improved since new prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki entered office, there is no sign of compromise over rule of law concerns - as the clock ticks towards a March deadline.

Spain's De Guindos to be ECB vice-president

Spanish finance minister Luis de Guindos will join the the European Central Bank in June, after his sole rival for the vice-presidency job stepped down on Monday.

MPs demand Council become more transparent

Three Dutch MPs, on behalf of 26 national parliamentary chambers across the EU, are demanding more transparency. 'The Eurogroup is the most opaque of them all,' complained Dutch MP Omtzigt.

Eurogroup starts process to pick new ECB chiefs

Eurozone finance ministers will pick who they recommend to become the European Central Bank vice-president - the choice is between their Spanish colleague Luis de Guindos, and the governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Philip Lane.

Poland shows no sign of concessions to Commission

While the dialogue between Warsaw and the Commission has improved since new prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki entered office, there is no sign of compromise over rule of law concerns - as the clock ticks towards a March deadline.

MPs demand Council become more transparent

Three Dutch MPs, on behalf of 26 national parliamentary chambers across the EU, are demanding more transparency. 'The Eurogroup is the most opaque of them all,' complained Dutch MP Omtzigt.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  2. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  4. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  5. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  6. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  8. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  9. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  10. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February
  11. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström
  12. European Friends of ArmeniaSave The Date 28/02: “Nagorno-Karabakh & the EU: 1988-2018”

Latest News

  1. Poland shows no sign of concessions to Commission
  2. Spain's De Guindos to be ECB vice-president
  3. Conservative 'buccaneering Brexit' narrative unrealistic
  4. MPs demand Council become more transparent
  5. Eurogroup starts process to pick new ECB chiefs
  6. 'Fact of life': some EU funding in new tech will get lost
  7. EU asks charities to explain anti-abuse measures
  8. ECB, Budget, EU elections This WEEK