March 9, 2010
An objective of the Maastricht Treaty was EMU – Economic & Monetary Union. 16 countries have achieved monetary, but not economic, union. Indeed, even economic policy cooperation still leaves a lot to be desired. The original criticisms of the euro were the lack of economic coordination and the absence of any central fund. Greece has brought these issues to a head. The situation in Greece is manageable because of the smallness of its economy but Italy, Portugal and Spain are in the background.
There is growing support (beginning in Germany and France) for a European Monetary Fund.
If agreement could be reached, it would appear to require treaty changes, and it is unimaginable that these could be agreed by the 27 Member States. The immediate question to address is whether the desired result can be achieved without changing the present treaties. Would a new treaty between the 16 eurozone members be a workable solution. Could this be achieved by using the “enhanced cooperation” provisions of the present treaties? Particular attention must be paid to the constitutional position in Germany.
A clear account of the present situation is to be found on today’s EurActiv website.Author : Stanley Crossick