Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Saturday, December 16, 2017 09:03:53 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

It is time for stronger monetary union

Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Petros Fassoulas :
He has already been quite vocal about his ideas, although his plans to work with Berlin to strengthen the eurozone following the German elections might have been complicated by the results (and subsequent coalition negotiations).
Nevertheless, Germany remains a key ally, and eurozone reform is of utmost urgency. But Macron faces the danger of losing his footing if he doesn't properly prioritise.
His advocacy for a European Finance Minister and a eurozone budget are essential to strengthening the monetary union, and already has some support from other member states, but vying for an entirely new eurozone parliament and a multi-speed Europe will cloud the debate and weaken the reform effort.
The role of the FDP in the German election notwithstanding, it is possible that the near future will see the creation of a European Minister of Finance in some form or another.
It is one of Macron's central proposals, which German Chancellor Angela Merkel said (prior to the election) she could support, and Commission President Juncker called for the post in his State of the European Union address earlier this month.
This is crucial to increase transparency in decision-making, and will help to make governance and management of financial affairs more democratic. This new post should have strong executive powers and be responsible for both supervising EU budget and economic policies, and for dealing with potential future crises.
Macron's proposal for a eurozone parliament, however, will only serve to further muddy the institutional waters and increase redundancy. The existing European Parliament is well-suited to EMU scrutiny and legislation, which it can perform in conjunction with the proposed Finance Minister.
All EU member states are welcome to join the eurozone and most have a legal responsibility to do so, so MEPs from all member states have a vested interest in eurozone affairs.
To ensure accountability, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs should be strengthened, fully involved in decision-making, and given the role of appointing and dismissing the Finance Minister.
Establishing a eurozone budget should be a priority in future talks. Juncker has opposed it, proposing instead a budget line within the established EU budget, and so Macron should stand strong on this point. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is on board, and Merkel is open to it.
Though Juncker groups it with the eurozone parliament as a parallel institution, a devoted eurozone budget would provide a shock absorber for future upsets, encourage necessary structural reforms in economic policy, and provide an investment opportunity for member states during recessions. The newly-established Finance Minister, working with the European Parliament, would also oversee and manage this budget.
As Juncker has noted, the eurozone will account for 85% of the EU's GDP after Brexit. The gap left in the budget will warrant a complete rethink of EU budget priority areas, and a separate eurozone budget should remain untouched by this overhaul. But cuts should be made with a scalpel, not a hatchet, and priorities should be based on the Future of Europe debates across European institutions. British Prime Minister Theresa May's offer to continue paying into the EU budget through 2020 could buy some time - it should not be taken for granted.
Macron and other EMU reformers need to prioritise existing own resources and the creation of substantial new ones. Introducing Eurobonds could provide another form of risk-sharing and common issuance of debt.
Though Merkel has spoken out against common issuance (and the FDP appears against it), her partnership with Macron will provide him (and other member states) with the platform to change her mind. Other new own resources could be combined in different areas to minimize potential flaws and balance their strengths.
Recommending a multi-speed Europe, as Macron does, contradicts the goal of strengthening the EMU. As Juncker said, the Euro is the currency of the European Union, and eventual adoption is one of the tenants of membership and should be the ultimate goal.
The process of deepening and further integrating the Monetary Union requires all member states to get involved - their proposals need to be a part of the discussion. For a group of "avant-garde" members to move forward without the rest would widen the gap between eurozone and non-eurozone member states, and would detract from
the efforts toward stabilisation.
I remain optimistic about the future of the EMU. Much of what is on the table can be vital to a deeper monetary union and an all-inclusive, integrated, future-proof eurozone. Macron and Merkel could be a powerful team, but ambitious reforms will necessitate domestic compromises and require the involvement and support of all member states and other stakeholders.
What is at stake is far too important, and achieving it will require the input and buy-in of all member states and representatives of society at large - business, trade unions, NGOs, and all those that strive for a better, united Europe.
(Petros Fassoulas is Secretary-General of European Movement International).

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

International »

Trump promises `giant tax cut` as `Christmas gift` to Americans

PTI, Washington :US President Donald Trump today said the Congress has reached an agreement on tax legislation that will deliver more jobs, higher wages, and "massive tax relief" for American families and domestic companies.Trump recognised the tax reform as a campaign promise during his run-up to the 2016 presidential election, ...

Editorial »

Muslim leaders must continue to act together not to be ignored

WE welcome the OIC's (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) decision declaring East Jerusalem as capital of Palestine at a summit at Istanbul on Wednesday as the most appropriate and timely action to denounce US President Donald Trump's unilateral declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel. Their call ...

Football »

Players of A Level team, the champions of the Inter-Class Victory Day Football Competition of Manarat Dhaka International School & College with the teachers of Manarat Dhaka International School & College pose for a photo session at Manarat College field on Thursday.

Entertainment »

Meryl Streep is the most Golden Globe-nominated actor

Meryl Streep has begun her Hollywood award season dominance by bagging her 31st Golden Globe nomination, which is a record in the 75-year history of the award show. Streep won the nomination in the best actress, drama category for her portrayal of the Washington Post publisher Kay Graham in Steven ...

Entertainment »

Porimoni, Zayed Khan`s Antorjwala releases today

Entertainment Report :Today across the country in 175 cinema halls Malek Afsari directed and Porimoni-Zayed Khan acted much awaited movie Antorjwala is set to be released. On the occasion its releasing Pori and Zayed will enjoy the movie along with director Malek Afsari in Dhaka’s Modhumita, Shyamoli and Sony halls.While ...

City »

Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury handing over ICT Award to Director General of Health Department Prof Dr Abul Kalam Azad for his contribution in using digital technology in health services at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the city on Tuesday.

Weekend Plus »

Quick recipes for the burger-lover in you

Weekend Plus Desk :If you are a burger lover or want to fix a burger quickly for uninvited guests, here are a few recipes which can save the day. Recipes by Chef Gaurav Chadha, in-house chef, Dr Oetker India Pvt Ltd:* Chicken and egg burger: Heat oil in a kadhai ...

Editorial »

Attack on New York City is disgusting

AN attempted terrorist attack in a New York City bus terminal by a US national of Bangladesh origin has caused widespread surprise and condemnation here and also in the Bangladesh community in the USA. The person Akayed Ullah at his 27 is a taxi driver in New York City and ...

International »

US embassy unlikely to move to Jerusalem before 2020: Tillerson

Xinhua, Washington :U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday the U.S. embassy in Israel was unlikely to be moved to Jerusalem before 2020, national media outlets reported."It's not going to be anything that happens right away," U.S. news daily the New York Times quoted Tillerson's speech at the State ...

Football »

Crystal Palace's James McArthur (centre) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with team-mates during the English Premier League match between Crystal Palace versus Watford at Selhurst Park, London on Tuesday.

Sports »

A scene from the SA Group Premier Division Chess League at the Auditorium of the National Sports Council Tower on Wednesday.

Entertainment »

Akshay shares the new poster of PadMan while giving the hint about trailer

Akshay Kumar is gearing up for his next release PadMan which is all set to release on Republic Day, 26th January 2018. Recently Akshay is on spree of releasing new posters of the films. A day before yesterday Akshay shared a poster of the film in which he can be ...

City »

DU VC Prof Aktaruzzaman speaking at a seminar on' Mass Media Vs Social Media at TSC organised by the Dhaka University Journalists Association on Wednesday .

Editorial »

Colleges without enrolment should cease to exist

OVER 1,500 colleges are in fear of closure as they have failed to fulfil the condition of the Education Ministry in terms of students' admission at Higher Secondary level, The concern is genuine because opening of new colleges and also their closure is not small thing, as it impacts lives ...

Cricket »

A good number of spectators arrived at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium to watch the final match of the AKS Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Twenty20 Cricket between Rangpur Riders and Dhaka Dynamites at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Tuesday.

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news