Article from the German newspaper "Welt" (google translation)
June 3rd, 2012
The Secret Plan for a New Europe
On behalf of the Government of the tips of the European institutions to develop a plan behind the scenes for a new, more stable Europe. The price could be the splitting of the EU.
A first hint of Angela Merkel, he risked. "It is of course possible to think about how we move forward over the next five to ten years," the Chancellor said this week, with a view to Europe. "If we are constantly thinking bans imposed, this will not work." This was a test balloon. He rose to go unnoticed. Still, hardly anyone suspects that Merkel's words could soon take on a very far-reaching decisions.
After the last two-week horror stands for Government and the EU leadership personnel determine that you are not alone with short-term anti-crisis progresses. The euro crashed in recent days, recorded in the meantime, the lowest for two years, not just over 1.23 dollars. At the same time, the risk premiums on government bonds climb from Spain and Italy to record levels. The crisis is back with a vengeance.
End of June will the master plan be discussed
A "business as usual" can not exist in the euro rescue. Now, should follow a clear reaction. After researching the "Welt am Sonntag", the Government will consult you on the EU summit in late June with a master plan for Europe. It's not about acute crisis management.
A vision for the continent, it should be, especially for the battered euro-zone. "All over the world, America or Asia, we will ask: Where are you going?" Says a senior EU official. "We have to deliver after two years of crisis, finally an answer."
He expects the meeting in four weeks, "a big throw." It also provides for a representative of the monetary union as follows: "The euro-zone is unanimity about the fact that there must be further integrative steps." And a central banker is supportive attitude: "We have to push open the window to the question of what the citizens of Europe want."
EU institutions should design the master plan
At their informal meeting on 23 May had given the leaders a work order to the EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, on the Euro Group President Jean-Claude Juncker and the head of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi. The four are to design a roadmap "for the EU to a new level" can be lifted. "Three or four conversations," President of the round was planned in the coming weeks, there will be conference calls, the institutions were in close contact.
Van Rompuy will present key elements of the plan at the summit in late June. They should be included in the final declaration. By the end of the year, the Heads of State and Government of the "roadmap" and decide then officially in black and white. It could be a revolutionary document.
Working on four main areas
According to the newspaper "Welt am Sonntag" work van Rompuy, Barroso and Juncker Draghi on proposals for four areas: structural reforms, the banking union, a fiscal union and political union. So far, the work of the master plan is almost unnoticed by the public. These are the proposals that are brought together in the back rooms of the EU institutions, in itself. In the end, would create an entirely new Europe - where some of the 27 EU countries can.
Because it is difficult to predict, the parties still operate in secret: They have little interest in ensuring that their work is known, "because the process is very difficult."
Initially, the four institutions to agree on a joint report, then the acceptance by the Government must find.
Berlin is trying to dampen expectations
Even warns. One should "not raise unrealistic expectations," says Berlin. It is emphasized that the summit in late June, first to a roadmap for the next steps go, would have to be then processed in the following months. Finally, it is going to very far-reaching changes that they could not advise on a single peak, and finally decide. Therefore, it is also possible that many proposals will be mitigated during the process again.
So far, however, the four EU arms are hell-bent on a really extensive work on "roadmap". At the most benign nor is the point of structural reform: The social systems are reformed, the internal market to be further strengthened. Both are in principle largely undisputed.
Growth must be encouraged
It will depend primarily on selling these actions as a growth-friendly rather than austerity. The second part of the plan, the banking union is tricky. The ECB calls them offensive as a consequence of the crisis: "The doctrine is a further centralization of bank supervision," Draghi said publicly this week, and calls for a joint financial supervision in the euro-zone.
In addition, the ECB argues for a European bank rescue fund that could be filled by a tax of financial institutions. When the federal government to reject such considerations came a long, ultimately, German banks were joint liability for southern European competitors. On the other hand, is in Berlin today, many realize that a monetary union without an integrated banking market does not make sense. "I think the banks' Union, the Germans will agree to end," says someone who formulator of the timetable.
Fiscal Union is tricky for Berlin
A fiscal union is for the federal government is by far the most delicate suggestion. In Berlin, one of which would like to know more stringent budget oversight understood, a further development of the Fiscal Pact. But unlike the federal government, the four parties involved EU institutions mean by a fiscal union and a collective responsibility for government debt, ie € bonds that Germany refuses vehemently.
The architects of the new Europe is clear that community bonds are a long-term project. All parties expect that the EU Treaty changes are needed. And to be lengthy.
Euro-agenda for the coming decade
The master plan is a Euro-agenda for the next five to ten years. Already is emerging, however, that you could pay a high price for it is a further division between the 17 euro area countries and the remaining ten, with Croatia in the next year eleven EU member states. Even as Merkel expressed by the Fiscal Pact, they took into account that with Great Britain and the Czech Republic refused two EU partners.
Division of Europe is not excluded
This trend is likely to continue now with the vision report. Europe takes the risk of splitting into account. "We must deepen the Euro-zone in order to stabilize them," says one of the masterminds. "The euro zone has a leading role," adds another. Only Commission President Barroso urges more on designing a new architecture for all 27 EU states, not only for the monetary union.
In Berlin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg has two speeds are possible: What is more, should be tackled by all countries, all the rest with only 17 euro countries. This is a change in strategy for European integration. "But this change of strategy has to come," says a central banker. "This is Europe's common monetary defining element." This applies to the crisis as well as for trying to escape it.