The Commission unveils proposals for a more united, efficient and accountable Economic and Monetary Union: Time to fix the roof while the sun is shining
Deepening Europe's Economic and Monetary Union
Building on the vision set out in the Five Presidents' Report of June 2015 and the Reflection Papers on the Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union and the Future of EU Finances of Spring 2017, the European Commission set out today a Roadmap for deepening the Economic and Monetary Union, including concrete steps to be taken over the next 18 months as agreed in the Leader's Agenda.
Deepening the Economic and Monetary Union is a means to an end: more jobs, growth, investment, social fairness and macroeconomic stability.
The overall aim is to enhance the unity, efficiency and democratic accountability of Europe's Economic and Monetary Union by 2025. The Commission insists that this is the right time to take the necessary next steps now that after years of crises and thanks to determined efforts at all levels Europe is experiencing a robust recovery with economic growth in all Member States.
President Jean- Claude Juncker said: "After years of crises, it's now time to take Europe's future into our own hands. Today's robust economic growth encourages us to move ahead to ensure that our Economic and Monetary Union is more united, efficient and democratic, and that it works for all of our citizens. There is no better time to fix the roof than when the sun is shining."
The package presented delivers on the commitment made by President Juncker in his 2017 State of the Union address to present concrete next steps for further deepening Europe's Economic and Monetary Union. It is presented ahead of the Euro Summit on 15 December 2017 where EU leaders will meet for a first discussion on the next steps to be taken, and a dedicated meeting planned on 28-29 June 2018 with a view to reaching concrete decisions.
Concretely, the Commission put forward a number of initiatives:
- A proposal to establish a European Monetary Fund, anchored within the EU's legal framework and built on the well-established structure of the European Stability Mechanism which will continue to assist euro area Member States in financial distress. In addition, the European Monetary Fund would provide the common backstop to the Single Resolution Fund and act as a last resort lender in order to facilitate the orderly resolution of distressed banks. More rapid decision-making in cases of urgency and more direct involvement in the management of financial assistance programmes are also foreseen.
- A proposal to integrate the substance of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance into the Union legal framework, taking into account the appropriate flexibility built into the Stability and Growth Pact and identified by the Commission since January 2015. The Commission believes that integrating inter-governmental instruments into the Union legal framework will enhance their democratic legitimacy, simplify the legal framework and diminish the risk of duplication.
- A Communication on new budgetary instruments for a stable euro area within the Union Framework which foresee: Support to Member States for structural reforms through a reform delivery tool and technical support at the request of Member States; a dedicated convergence facility for Member States on their way to joining the euro; a backstop for the Banking Union, through the European Monetary Fund/ European Stability Mechanism, to be agreed by mid-2018 and made operational by 2019; and a stabilisation function in order to protect investments in the event of large asymmetric shocks.
- A Communication spelling out the possible functions of a European Minister of Economy and Finance who could serve as Vice-President of the Commission and chair the Eurogroup, as is possible under the current EU Treaties. By bringing together existing responsibilities and available expertise, this new position would strengthen the coherence, efficiency, transparency and democratic accountability of economic policy-making for the EU and the euro area, in full respect of national competences. Reaching a common understanding on the role of the Minister by mid-2019 would allow setting it up as part of the formation of the next Commission. The Eurogroup could then also decide to elect the Minister as its President for two consecutive terms in order to align both mandates.
Proposal to integrate the substance of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance into the Union legal framework, taking into account the appropriate flexibility built into the Stability and Growth Pact and identified by the Commission since January 2015
6 December 2017