The European Commission presented today [31th May 2017] its reflection paper on the Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union. This is for CEEP one of the most expected reflection paper following the White Paper on the Future of Europe, and it represents a long-awaited follow-up to the Five Presidents’ Report of 2015. Today’s reflection paper will have to be analysed in connection with the paper on the social dimension of Europe, as social and economic developments are two sides of a same coin.

“We welcome this renewed ambition of the European Commission to complete the Economic and Monetary Union,” said Valeria Ronzitti, CEEP General Secretary. “Completing the EMU should bring more transparency and democratic accountability, while making sure our macroeconomic instruments are able to support a long-term and sustainable growth.”

A key step forward is the prospect of reinforcing the Economic and Fiscal Union through a new central stabilisation function, a better alignment of economic and social priorities as well as a possible simplification of the Stability and Growth Pact by 2020-2025. “CEEP has been calling for a simplification of the EU fiscal rules for a long time. The reflection paper can trigger an honest and non-dogmatic review of the SGP, including its interpretative communication of 2015. We believe that such a process can lead to simplifying the rules and supporting investment to relaunch the economic engine,” explained Ms Ronzitti.

CEEP equally welcomes the call to increase the democratic accountability and effective governance of the Economic and Monetary Union: Reinforcing and formalising the dialogue with the European Parliament and increasing the external representation of the euro area – including a EU Finance Minister – can increase the democratic ownership of the EU economic policies.

Valeria Ronzitti concluded: “We are confident that all those goals can be achieved if the European Commission, Member States and all stakeholders involved answer the call of Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici: ‘It is time to put pragmatism before dogma, to put bridge-building before individual mistrust.’“

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