PES Finance Ministers want deeper EMU in 2018

23/01/2018

Mario Centeno

Finance ministers from the PES family today discussed the steps that need to be taken to deepen the Economic and Monetary Union this year.

The ministers focused on the negotiations that will take place over the coming months towards an agreement on EMU reform, in the wake of the summit of Eurozone leaders and release of the European Commission's roadmap for deepening the EMU in December.

Pier Carlo Padoan, Italian finance minister and chair of the PES Ecofin Ministers' Network, said:

"Our goal is to reach an agreement that brings ambitious and meaningful changes to the structure and governance of the Eurozone, making it more democratic, more integrated, and more dedicated to sustainable and inclusive growth. The proposals from the European Commission are a valuable starting point for this process.

"A stabilisation function should be introduced for the Eurozone that will allow us to respond to future shocks, manage economic cycles, and promote badly needed investment.  European citizens’ money, be it privately owned in banks or shared in public budgets, must be protected. The technical tools to do that are known. We need to develop common safe assets for the Euro area, to protect against the dangerous loop of fire-sales on sovereign and banking assets that we recently experienced. This should come with stronger financial commitment to European public goods, more accountable decision-making, and completion of the banking union with protection for citizens’ deposits.

"No delay can be allowed in a reform process as important as this. It is crucial to reach an agreement on all relevant areas by June of this year."

The meeting was also attended by:

  • Edward Scicluna, Finance Minister of Malta
  • Mario Centeno, Finance Minister of Portugal and chair of the Eurogroup
  • Magdalena Andersson, Finance Minister of Sweden
  • Karolina Ekholm, State Secretary to the Ministry of Finance of Sweden
  • Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs
  • Maria João Rodrigues, Vice President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Roberto Gualtieri, Chair of the ECON Committee in the European Parliament
  • Pervenche Beres, S&D Coordinator for the ECON Committee in the European Parliament