Friday, 21 May 2010

EU Task Force on crisis resolution and budgetary discipline

The first meeting of the Task Force established by the March 2010 European Council on improved crisis resolution and better budgetary discipline will be held in Brussels on today, Friday 21 May 2010.

The Task Force is chaired by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council.

Representatives of the members states, the rotating presidency and the European Central Bank will meet for the first time to start work with a view to presenting a report to the October European Council on the measures needed to reach the objectives of an improved crisis resolution framework and better budgetary discipline, says the press release from the President of the European Council.

European Council March 2010

We recall the conclusions of the European Council 25/26 March 2010 (document EUCO 7/10), where the heads of state or government mercifully acknowledged “in cooperation with the Commission” with regard to the establishment:

7. The European Council asks the President of the European Council to establish, in cooperation with the Commission, a task force with representatives of the Member States, the rotating presidency and the ECB, to present to the Council, before the end of this year, the measures needed to reach the objective of an improved crisis resolution framework and better budgetary discipline, exploring all options to reinforce the legal framework.

In the news

If official communication from the European Council has been meagre, individual leaders and politicians have launched various ideas and actions, probably adding more confusion than clarity at this stage.

Here is a brief roundup of European news sources ahead of the task force meeting.

EUobserver, Andrew Rettman: EU holds first meeting on joint economic governance (21 May 2010). The article discusses the proposals tabled by the Commission on 12 May and especially issues proposed by the German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

EurActiv: Paris, Berlin struggle for unity ahead of EU meeting (21 May 2010) tells us how Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy are trying to iron out differences after the uncertainty generated by unilateral moves and ideas. Sanctions, potential French budget discipline, concerns over the euro and the Commission proposal on improving economic governance are outlined.

EUbusiness: France, Germany agree to cooperate on euro proposals (20 May 2010) says that Merkel and Sarkozy will coordinate closely at the Friday meeting chaired by Van Rompuy and prepare jointly ahead of the European Council 17 June and the G20 meeting at the end of June.

European Voice, Simon Taylor: Germany to push for nine financial reforms (21 May 2010) expected German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble to present a nine-point plan to the Van Rompuy task force and outlined main points.

The Financial Times, Quentin Peel: Berlin pushes for global financial curbs (20 May 2010) records that chancellor Merkel will win a majority for Germany’s part of the euro stabilisation package, but fail to gain cross-party support. The article presents some proposals and positions.

Ralf Grahn