Wednesday

18th Oct 2017

Barroso sees political momentum for more integration

  • Alone the "process" of going toward further economic integration would reassure markets, says the commission (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said he is going to push for an "early" plan for further integration in the eurozone, claiming political momentum is on his side.

"The commission will advocate an ambitious and structured response for a longer term perspective on the future of economic and monetary union," he said on Wednesday (30 May), the day the commission published a series of detailed economic policy recommendations for all 27 member states.

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.

"The pace and sequencing of all these developments will need to be worked out, including a roadmap and a timetable. But an early confirmation of the steps to be taken will underscore the solidity of the euro," he added.

Barroso is due to feed the commission's ideas into the next summit of EU leaders at the end of June. They are set to include a banking union - tighter supervision, direct access for banks to the eurozone's bail-out fund and a single deposit guarantee scheme - and stability bonds, a way of mutualising eurozone debt.

The ideas are not new. They are getting a fresh airing as the eurozone crisis continues to worsen. But they remain extremely controversial - with Germany particularly opposed.

However, Barroso indicated that EU leaders' thinking is constantly evolving. "The movement is in favour of more integration in the euro area," said the commission president.

His comments feed into a series of recent statements by EU officials about the need for further economic integration, amid worries that Spain, the eurozone's fourth largest economy, might need a bail-out.

According to Barroso all legal options should be considered, even eventually the legally and politically cumbersome treaty change.

The commission has also come out in favour of allowing the eurozone's permanent bail-out fund, the ESM, to lend directly to banks.

Currently it can only lend to governments which further drives up their debts - a pertinent issue for Spain with a billions-wide credit hole in its banks and a budget deficit that far exceeds euro rules.

"To sever the link between banks and the sovereigns, direct recapitalisation by the ESM might be envisaged," the commission's assessment of the euro area said. But this would require the ESM treaty to be changed and is strongly opposed by Berlin.

The commission's drive for further economic and financial integration comes even as a recent survey by the Pew Research Centre found that in seven of the eight EU countries surveyed, a majority was against giving more budgetary control to the EU institutions.

Barroso noted that only the commission is in a position to give such a rigorous and impartial overview of a country's economic situation and urge "difficult" changes to be made.

He also said that it requires "leadership" and "courage" to explain "what would happen if we don't go for a stronger European Union."

Van Rompuy to draft plan for deeper economic union

EU leaders have tasked council chief Van Rompuy with drafting a plan on deepening the eurozone's economic union. A similar report was issued in 2010, leading to tougher sanctions for deficit sinners.

EU to G20: We will not take 'economic lessons'

The EU is not about to take economic lectures from its G20 partners, the EU commission president said on Monday amid fears the eurozone crisis could put the global economy back into recession.

Spain may speed up EU 'banking union'

The US has joined ranks with EU officials exploring ways to pump eurozone money directly into Spain's troubled banks, with creation of a "banking union" now considered a matter of eurozone survival.

Catalonia to declare independence in a few days

Spain's king, Felipe VI, said Catalonia's leaders were breaking up the country's unity as hundreds of thousands of Catalans rallied against police violence at Sunday's referendum.

Austrian voters reject liberal status quo

Counting continues, but conservative leader Sebastian Kurz is likely to form a coalition with the far-right and could become one of the EU's most vocal critics.

Brexit 'deadlock' prevents move to trade negotiations

EU negotiator Barnier also said after the latest round of Brexit talks that with political will, progress can be achieved in the next two months - in time for the December EU summit to give the green light.

News in Brief

  1. Spanish Court declares Catalan referendum law void
  2. EU to keep 'Dieselgate' letter secret
  3. No deal yet on Mediterranean alliance for EU agencies
  4. EU Commission condemns Maltese journalist's murder
  5. Poland denies wrongdoing over forest logging
  6. Risk to asylum kids in EU increasing, says charity
  7. Schroeder warns of Turkey and Russia drifting towards China
  8. EU parliament wants equal pay for posted workers

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  2. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  6. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  7. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  8. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  9. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  10. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness
  12. CECENon-Harmonised Homologation of Mobile Machinery Costs € 90 Million per Year

Latest News

  1. EU rejects UK claim it's slowing Brexit talks
  2. Nepal troops arrive in Libya to guard UN refugee agency
  3. Is Banking Authority HQ the Brexit 'booby prize'?
  4. EU-Russia trade bouncing back - despite sanctions
  5. No sign of Brexit speed-up after May-Juncker dinner
  6. EU defence strategy 'outsourced' to arms industry
  7. EU privacy rules tilt to industry, NGO says
  8. Malta in shock after car bomb kills crusading journalist