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Graham's Blog (Summits), 5th April 2011

The much-vaunted March Summits came and went - but are we any the wiser about how serious Eurozone governments really are about their commitments to the euro? The headline Conclusions looked fine enough: The ESM will have an effective lending capacity of €500 billion from 2013. The preparation of the ESM treaty and amendments to the EFSF agreement, to ensure its €440 billion effective lending capacity, will be finalised to allow signature of both agreements by end-June 2011.

The preceding Eurozone summit adopted a 'Pact for the Euro' for stronger economic policy coordination for competitiveness and convergence, thus achievinga new quality of economic policy coordination in the Euro area. The European Council – as the EU of 27 - welcomed the decisions taken by the euro area Heads and endorsed the features of the ESM. However, the distinction between the eurozone and the EU 27 caused some difficulties for the Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs committee. They want the eurozone stability mechanism to be part of the EU. MEPs were "deeply concerned" that the mechanism is an intergovernmental choice, rather than an EU one, and urged Member States to bring it within the EU system.   Will they be able to agree something with the European Parliament by June? Read full article.

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