A new vision for completing the Economic and Monetary Union (own initiative opinion)

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ETSK:n lausunto: A new vision for completing the Economic and Monetary Union (own initiative opinion)

Key points:

The EESC:

  • calls on the European institutions and national governments to take much more ambitious action in the context of EMU reform in order to achieve a more integrated, more democratic and socially better developed Union;
  • believes that, despite the considerable progress towards completing EMU, there is still a need to significantly reinforce all of its pillars, taking care to maintain the balance between them, as neglecting one or more of these pillars could result in dangerous disparities;
  • considers resilience to crises as a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for completing EMU, which also requires a positive vision as set out in Article 3 of the EU Treaty.
  • recommends prioritising the following aspects regarding the specific pillars of EMU:
  1. a stable monetary and financial pillar as a basis for macroeconomic development through: consolidating ECB's stabilising role and safeguarding its independence; decisive steps to complete the Banking and Capital Markets Unions; strengthening the international role of the euro on the basis of a stable, economically strong and socially balanced EMU;
  2. a strong economic pillar as a basis for prosperity and social progress through: promoting growth, productivity and competitiveness; balancing supply- and demand-side measures, which currently entails boosting the demand side; creating a euro area fiscal capacity funded from a common debt instrument; measures to stem unfair tax competition and to prevent tax evasion and avoidance;
  3. expanding the social pillar as a basis for societal progress through: minimum social standards in the Member States; finding a fair balance between sound economic basis and strong social dimension; broadening the debate concerning an EU finance minister to an equivalent position for social and labour affairs;
  4. a political pillar as a basis for democracy, solidarity and unity through: enhancing the involvement of the European Parliament, the social partners and other civil society organisations in key social and economic policy decisions; solidarity and unity as a basis for prosperity and peace within the EU and in a global context; rapid accession to the euro area by those EU countries that have not yet joined it.