Finance ministers from eight northern EU states have spoken out against unilateral reforms in the eurozone and stated that reforms should focus on the cohesion of the remaining 27 Member States.

GD – 03/2018

As reported by the online information service Euractiv, the non-euro Member States are particularly concerned that this might further remove them from important decisions. In a joint statement released by Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands and Sweden, they call for unity in the EU and for decisions on deeper cooperation to be made jointly. 

The eight finance ministers have called for the ‘completion of the Banking Union’ and the ‘transformation of the ESM into a European Monetary Fund’. Ideas being pushed by, among others, Emmanuel Macron for a common euro area budget or common finance ministry were not mentioned.  

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had already suggested last year extending the euro area to those Member States which, despite meeting the criteria, were not yet using the euro. However, as Euractiv reports, the prospects for this are not promising. Denmark has had an ‘opt-out’ clause since the beginning and a Swedish referendum at the time clearly rejected the euro. According to Swedish media reports, the current negative attitude towards the EU means that no political camp is thinking of pushing for a new referendum to introduce the euro in Sweden.