The French Go On The Offensive, And Push For A New European Treasury


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A new proposal has emerged for a combined European Treasury, first built on German and French cooperation, eventually expanding to the rest of the eurozone (via CNBC).While the idea has been proposed by Constance Le Grip and Henri Plagnol, two French and European parliamentarians, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has promised to deliver it to European leadership.

The report can be read in full here in French, but here’s a breakdown of the key points as we understand them.

  • The document calls for further tightening between France and Germany, in which financial matters would be controlled together. 
  • The aim would be to have this Franco-German union in place by 2020.
  • Eventually, this Franco-German union would expand to the “Heart of Europe” including Austria, Benelux, the Netherlands, and Italy.
  • It also deals with the expansion of banking regulation.
  • States’ budgets are also to be under more intense scrutiny, and subject to “naming and shaming” for those that do not follow monetary union rules.
  • It is suggested that member states alter their constitutions to require the same debt amd deficit rules as the eurozone.
  • The press release ahead of the document points out that member states are losing confidence in the eurozone, and that this plan is made with respect to the sovereignty of member states.

Obviously, this is just a series of proposals. But is also a starting point in negotiations between the French and the Germans, who will drive the future look and shape of the eurozone. This may take 10 years, or may take many more, or may never happen. But this document should be an effective guide to understand some of the French positions in the coming months of debate.

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