Economic and monetary union
Spinelli Group wants legislation geared towards EMU
By Gaspard Sebag | Thursday 28 June 2012
The pro-federalist Spinelli Group issued a plea, on 28 June, to the European Commission to come up, before the summer, with a legislative package to press on with an economic and monetary union. The group calls upon the EU executive to put flesh – through a ‘federal act’ – on the proposals put forward by the presidents of the European Council, Commission, Central Bank and Eurogroup earlier this week. ALDE leader and Spinelli Group member Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium) believes that since EU leaders – hindered by their electoral logic – cannot agree to a push for greater integration, the task – at least that which does not require a treaty change – should fall upon the European Parliament and Council.
The Spinelli Group welcomes the building blocks - a banking union, a fiscal union and a political union - put forward in the ten-year plan sketched by Herman Van Rompuy, José Manuel Barroso, Mario Draghi and Jean-Claude Juncker. This is no surprise since most of the proposals, such as the launch of eurobonds, giving the future European Stability Mechanism a banking license or the creation of a eurozone government, mirror federalist requests. The issue at stake now is “to give content to them,” says Verhofstadt.
He has little faith in EU leaders’ capacity or “courage” to do so, especially in light of upcoming general elections in the Netherlands (September) and Germany (autumn 2013). If EU leaders do not manage to agree on the impetus needed to address the imbalances in the economic and monetary union, “then the Commission has to take its responsibilities and put a legislative package on the table,” argues Verhofstadt.
His confidence in the Commission is also wearing thin, whence the prod. “[The EU executive’s] attitude is we wait first of all for a green light from Paris and Berlin,” he believes. “But that is destroying the right of initiative of the Commission.”