by Alexander Ulrich & Steffen Stierle
In the summer of 2015, five EU presidents – the Presidents of the EU Commission, the European Council, the Eurogroup, the European Central Bank and the EU Parliament – presented a report entitled Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union. In the report they outline a sweeping reform agenda in the areas of economic, financial and fiscal policy. Some of this has already been set in motion. Its full implementation, however, has been thwarted, both by the German Government’s reluctance to give up power and by fear of the referendums which would have been unavoidable in view of the need to amend the treaties.
On 20 September 2016, the Jacques Delors Institute in Berlin/ Notre Europe and the Bertelsmann Foundation presented a report entitled Growth and the Euro after Brexit. Back in February 2016, Norbert Häring, economics correspondent of the Handelsblatt newspaper, was already writing, “Now that the five presidents’ de-democratisation project has foundered, presumably on Berlin’s insistence on its position of power in Europe, a new group of exports will now be appointed to draft a blueprint for political and fiscal union. Needless to say, it will not operate as a convention of European people’s representatives or the like but will do its work in the shadowy world of ‘pro-European’ foundations and think-tanks.” (here in German)