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.
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.
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.
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.