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20 December 2013

European Council 19/20 Dec 2013: Parliament declares war on ECOFIN (so no SRM in 2014); Where was the meat on EMU 2.0?

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The December European Council came and went with barely a trace of last year's Four Presidents' report, "Towards a Genuine EMU". It welcomed ECOFIN's 'general approach' to the SRM whilst, in contrast, the European Parliament effectively declared war on ECOFIN.

European Parliament President Schulz delivered a remarkable speech to the Heads of State/Government at the opening of the Council. It was remarkable for both the uncompromising content and the fact that it was delivered by a declared candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission – an appointment in the hands of the group to whom the speech was delivered. The key economic declarations in the speech are set out below.

“In the early hours of this morning, your Finance Ministers took decisions on the Banking Union…. In the Ferreira report, adopted on Tuesday, the European Parliament again adopted a clear position on these points by an overwhelming majority, with support across all party lines. I must again present this position clearly and unambiguously, as Parliament has co-legislative powers in this regard.

Firstly, we wish the Commission to be responsible for decisions on the winding-up of banks.

Secondly, we wish the community method to provide the legal basis for the Banking Union and also for the resolution fund. We reject the idea of a further intergovernmental treaty.


If we were to implement the ECOFIN decisions on a Banking Union in this way, it would not only be a lost opportunity. It would be the biggest mistake yet in the resolution of the crisis. If the resolution mechanism for banks does not work properly, it could jeopardise financial stability. A Banking Union is something which must either be done right or not done at all.

The European Parliament will therefore not support the ECOFIN decisions in this form."

To read the full article, please click on the link to the PDF below.

© Graham Bishop

Documents associated with this article

European Council_Dec 2013.pdf

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