13th February 2015

Juncker on the possibility of a core eurozone

Speaking at the European Council on 12 February, European Commission President Juncker presented an Analytical Note on the EMU prepared in cooperation with other three presidents, those of the Eurogroup, of the European Council and of the ECB. The analytical note is a part of a longer-term task the Four Presidents were entrusted with at the Euro Summit (meeting of presidents and prime ministers of the eurozone countries) in October 2014. Their responsibility is to come up with proposals to make the eurozone economic governance better. Although the final recommendations are not expected before June, the analytical note gave some ideas in which way the final proposal might go. Even though it does not say so openly, the analytical note asks such questions which point jointly to a core eurozone. The presidents ask for example if a strong fiscal coordination mechanism is enough and should not be replaced with a separate institution, or what instruments to introduce in order to deal with countries which continue to break the rules. Experts have been proposing closer integration of the core of the eurozone, possibly with a common finance ministry and a small common budget. The analytical note presented by President Juncker does not speak of these measures, nor of treaty change, but it is largely expected that the final note might come in that direction.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic