Push for stepping up EMU reform

Juncker: There is no sense of urgency, but it is urgent

Photo: EU Jean-Claude Juncker

At the Euro summit held in Brussels on 18 October, with the participation of the Eurogroup President Mario Centeno and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, leaders of EU27 focused on the state of play of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) reform. It is well know that this track is not advancing with satisfactory pace and this sitting aimed to prepare the next Euro summit in December when important commitments are expected.

We agreed that we should complete the Banking Union, the Capital Markets Union, and approved a timetable for the review and adoption of deposit guarantee throughout Europe, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker underscored after the meeting. To explain the situation, the EU's executive chief stressed that so far the Commission has presented 40 proposals for deepening the EMU. Out of them, 6 or 7 have been adopted, he marked out saying that “a lot of work has to be done and I hope the ministers will do so in the next coming months”. He pointed out that there is no sense of urgency, but it is urgent.

European Council President Donald Tusk made it clear that the leaders agreed that there is a need to accelerate the technical work. We want to get an agreement on the Banking Union and the ESM in December, he revealed, saying as well that he hopes the discussion will inspire the Eurogroup to act more dynamically.

In June 2018, the Euro Summit agreed to progress on the completion of the Banking Union and to strengthen the ESM, including by providing the backstop to the single resolution fund.

To speed up the implementation, last December the leaders decided that work should concentrate on areas where the convergence of views is the greatest.

Among the topics on the summit agenda were also budgetary questions that are topical at the moment. Asked concretely about the Italian budget, President Juncker said that the Italian prime minister presented the budget, but it was not discussed in depth. We are currently examining the draft budget as it was sent the day before yesterday by the Italian authorities, he stressed, and clarified that this draft budget will be examined in the same manner as the others. He outlined that, over the years, the Commission has applied a lot of flexibilities concerning the Italian budget, which was not appreciated by other EU states. He said that he read in the press on the same morning that the Commission is about to reject Belgium's budget. “I didn't say that the Belgian budget is a problem at all, I just did say that we have some additional questions to ask the Belgian government,” Juncker clarified.


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