Officials from European Union member states are today discussing the text of an inter-governmental treaty aimed at restoring confidence in the eurozone.
The latest draft of the treaty text, drawn up after a meeting on 20 December, differs significantly from the initial text drafted by legal advisors working for Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council.
It gives greater power to the European Commission, stipulates the need for a greater number of eurozone countries to ratify the treaty and foresees the new rules being folded into the EU treaties within five years – something that both the Commission and MEPs have lobbied for.
Some of the changed wording is likely to anger the United Kingdom, which blocked EU treaty change at a summit in December, because it now includes references to the internal market – something the UK is determined to avoid.
The new text refers to “enhanced governance” that will “foster fiscal discipline and deeper integration in the internal market as well as stronger growth, enhanced competitiveness and social cohesion”.
The latest draft also gives greater powers to the Commission to take member states that breach the new fiscal rules to court, another feature that the UK opposes.
The initial draft suggested that member states would be able to take each other to court, as the agreement was outside the EU treaties.
However, the new draft says: “The European Commission may, on behalf of contracting parties, bring an action for an alleged infringement…before the Court of Justice of the European Union.”
According to the latest draft, 15 eurozone member states, rather than the nine that had initially been suggested, will have to ratify the treaty before it is implemented. As before, it would only apply to member states once they had ratified it.
The treaty, agreed in principle at the European Council on 8-9 December, is aimed at reinforcing fiscal and budgetary discipline.
As well as officials from member states, three MEPs and officials from the Commission are taking part in the discussions. Another draft of the treaty wording is expected after today’s meeting.
According to the latest draft, what was called an ‘international agreement on a reinforced economic union’ is now officially an international ‘treaty’.
It is still uncertain how many non-eurozone countries will sign up to the new treaty.
Click Here: Cheap Chiefs Rugby Jersey 2019