Policy areas

  • Economic union

    Economic union

    A genuine economic union that ensures each economy has the structural features to prosper within the monetary union. The Commission is proposing a system of national Competitiveness Boards to provide independent expertise on assessing performance and reforms. It is also working to streamline the European Semester which helps deliver reforms at national and EU level.

  • Financial union

    Financial union

    Completing the banking union, including a common European deposit insurance scheme, is key to guaranteeing the integrity of the euro, by limiting risks to financial stability and increasing risk-sharing with the private sector. Alongside the banking union, launching the capital markets union is key to mobilising capital in Europe and strengthening the link between savings and growth.

  • Fiscal union

    A fiscal union that delivers both fiscal sustainability and fiscal stabilisation. The Commission is proposing an independent European Fiscal Board (EFB) to act as an advisory body to the euro area’s system of multilateral economic monitoring.

  • Political union

    Providing the foundation for economic, financial and fiscal union through genuine democratic accountability, legitimacy and institutional strengthening. This includes getting European and national parliaments, and social partners, more closely involved in national reform programmes, and proposing a more unified representation for the euro area in international financial institutions especially the IMF.

  • European Pillar of Social Rights

    European Pillar of Social Rights

    The European Pillar of Social Rights is the framework covering employment and social performance, driving reforms at the national level and directing convergence within the euro area. Its role is ensuring fairness and social justice throughout Europe.

Background

Delivering a deeper and fairer economic and monetary union is one of the top 10 priorities of President Juncker in his Political Guidelines. The Five Presidents’ Report, presented on 22 June 2015, is the basis for achieving this aim within the next decade.

The report was prepared at the request of the Summit of euro area leaders of October 2014 and the European Council of December 2014.

Economic governance in the EU is organised annually in a cycle, known as the European Semester. The Annual Growth Survey is the first step in this cycle. It has been reinforced and refined over time, evolving in the context of historical developments. The Commission's work on economic and monetary union is the latest step in this process.

Documents

What's next?

Stage 1 - "Deepening by Doing"

The EU institutions and the euro area countries would build on existing instruments and use existing Treaties to boost competitiveness and structural convergence, achieve responsible fiscal policies at national and euro area level, complete the financial union, and enhance democratic accountability by early 2017.

Stage 2 - "Completing EMU"

More fundamental reforms should be achieved with the vision for new growth perspectives moving from medium to long-term. The convergence process for euro area economies would be made more binding, through for example a set of commonly agreed benchmarks for convergence of a legal nature.

Stage 3 – by 2025

A deep and genuine EMU would provide a stable and prosperous place for all the citizens of the EU member states that share the single currency, which would be attractive for other EU countries to join if they are ready to do so.

To prepare the transition from stage 1 to stage 2, the Commission will present a white paper in spring 2017 outlining the next steps needed, including legal measures to complete EMU in stage 2.