Arab Today, arab today eu\s van rompuy details eurozone budget rationale
Last Updated : GMT 08:53:10
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

EU\'s Van Rompuy details eurozone budget rationale

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today EU\'s Van Rompuy details eurozone budget rationale

Brussels - AFP

EU President Herman Van Rompuy argued Friday that the 17-state eurozone could have a central \'Treasury\' with a shared budget and raise funds on commercial bond markets.   In a report proposing closer economic integration, drawn up for a summit of European Union leaders next week, Van Rompuy spelt out the rationale behind plans to take the eurozone potentially beyond a purely inter-governmental structure.   Van Rompuy said the hypothetical central budget for the eurozone -- home to some 340 million people as distinct from the full, 27-state EU, including non-euro economies like Britain and Poland -- would need fine-tuning between now and a December summit.   Depending on how these ideas proceed, leaders may have to embark on a fresh, controversial round of EU treaty changes, with the risk that London, especially, might call a referendum to redefine its relationship with the Brussels-based bloc.   \"One of the functions of such a new fiscal capacity could be to facilitate adjustments to country-specific shocks by providing for some degree of absorption at the central level,\" Van Rompuy wrote.   Another key aim would be to \"facilitate structural reforms that improve competitiveness and potential [economic] growth.\"   The eurozone this week signed into life its new financial firewall, the European Stability Mechanism, a rescue fund ultimately worth 700 billion euros ($910 billion), which Van Rompuy said was for emergencies.   Long-term, the former Belgian premier also opened a door towards pooled eurozone government issuance of bonds, or borrowings.   He said a key aspect of the centralised eurozone budget would eventually be the capacity to borrow against it.   Overall, the idea is that national governments would strike deals with central eurozone supervisors -- legal commitments like those enacted in Greece and elsewhere that would theoretically make the eurozone a more homogenous territory.   These could involve loss of sovereignty.   According to one EU official, it\'s about \"convergence between national economic policies.\"   In the view of Brussels strategists, such a plan could help the eurozone to \"sustain assymetric shocks,\" meaning dangers posed by less competitive parts than Germany.   A big question will be to what extent Berlin might compromise on over-competitiveness by comparison with Greece or Spain, for example.   A debate going into the summit is whether this system -- albeit on the drawing-board -- would be imposed all round, or only on states that have consistently failed to balance books.

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