The Eurozone is broken. On that point, everyone seems agreed. Calls for reform have been gathering momentum, with French President Emmanuel Macron and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker both setting out tentative proposals. Both men would like to see the position of a common European Finance Minister created, with Macron (but not Juncker) arguing the role should include supervision of a common Eurozone budget. Is this what the euro needs?

The Commission has already presented ideas for a European Minister of Economy and Finance to EU leaders. The new role would simultaneously be a vice-president of the European Commission and head of the Eurogroup. Above all, supporters of the idea argue that the new EU Finance Minister should not mix national with European interests, but should ensure investment across Europe at the same time as guaranteeing “budget discipline”. But will he or she be provided with sufficient powers to meet these goals?

Could an EU finance minister increase democratic accountability? The Eurogroup has been meeting for 20 years to informally agree policy. There are hardly any rules at these meetings, which is of course something seized upon by eurosceptics, who argue that the fate of countries like Spain and Greece are being decided behind closed doors. Having a single EU Finance Minister would create a clear point of contact for affected countries. He or she would then also be responsible for a European Monetary Fund, which, like the International Monetary Fund, should be able to help crisis countries.

What do our readers think? We had a comment from Denis calling for a joint EU Finance Minister with a common budget for Europe. To get a response, we put his proposal to Hans-Olaf Henkel, a German MEP elected to the European Parliament for the eurosceptic AfD in 2014 but who now represents the Liberal Conservative Reformers (LKR). Does he think we need a common EU Finance Minister?

No, not at all. On the contrary, I think we have to stop believing in the benefits of a Single Currency. Since the introduction of the euro, for example, we have seen extremely high levels of unemployment, especially among young people… A Single Currency that fits the different contexts of different economies makes as much sense as making one shirt that fits all sizes… No, responsibility for economic and financial policy must be at the national level, because at the national level there are institutions that offer democratic control and accountability. In a currency such as the euro, democratic control is not possible. We have experienced that already with the behaviour of the European Central Bank, printing money without end. At the end of the day, the German taxpayer or their children have to pay for it

Should Europe have a common finance minister? Should the Eurozone have a common budget? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Max Pixel


48 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. Nikolas

    Yes but with strong competencies and appointed by the european parliament.

    • Uli Czeranka

      Thats how I understood the question. A proper fiscal union should be requirement for an european minister.

  2. frankie perussault

    A finance MINISTER ? attached to what government ? we haven’t got an EU government. Why do we keep playing at being “united” ? (Mettre la charrue avant les boeufs, ça ne marchera jamais). The first thing to do is to proclaim a federal european government, then there will be a finance minister.

  3. Christos Saroglou

    Yes, I am from Greece and public finances are a huge problem here, our politics are corrupted and incompetent. Having an EU finance minister it would be a guarantee that serious people manage our economics.

  4. Konrad Kowalski

    In the 500-year Lithuanian-Polish Union (1364-1795, and illegally until around 1880) there was a common currency, a common parliament, a common general congress to elect a king.

    But in this largest union in history there was a separate executive government and a separate treasure.
    The Lithuanian-Polish Union collapsed only under the influence of the terror of external forces

  5. Marko Martinović

    No. Its already corrupt. This is an attempt to make another step to Unated Nations of Europe ….or more like Germany

  6. Rui Ferreira

    Yes… And pleasee can eu govern Portugal? Here full of thiefs and corruption People…

  7. Vasil Petleshkov

    ТОВА ТРЯБВА ДА ГО НАПРАВИТЕ ПО НАЙ-БЪРЗИЯ НАЧИН, ЗАЩОТО ВЕЧЕ ЦЯЛА ЕВРОПА ВИДЯ КАКВО СТАНА, КОГАТО ЕВРОПА СЕ УПРАВЛЯВА САМО ОТ ЕДНА ОПРЕДЕЛЕНА ГРУПА ДЪРЖАВИ… ЗАДЪЛЖИТЕЛНО ТРЯБВА ДА НАПРАВИТЕ ЕДИННА МИНИМАЛНА ЗАПЛАТА И ЕДИННА СРЕДНА ЗАПЛАТА ЗА ЦЯЛА ЕВРОПА, КАКТО И ТРЯБВА ДА НАПРАВИТЕ РАВНИ УСЛОВИЯ ЗА ЦЯЛА ЕВРОПА… ЗАЩОТО ВЕЧЕ ПРОБЛЕМИТЕ ЗАПОЧВАТ ДА СТАВАТ МНОГО ГОЛЕМИ, И ТЕЗИ ПРОБЛЕМИ ЗАПОЧВАТ ДА ЗАСТРАШАВАТ БЪДЕЩЕТО НА ЕВРОПЕЙСКИЯ СЪЮЗ… ВСЯКА ГОДИНА ТРЯБВА ДА ИМА ИЗБОРИ ЗА ЕВРОПЕЙСКИЯ ПАРЛАМЕНТ, И НАРОДИТЕ ОТ ВСИЧКИТЕ ЕВРО ДЪРЖАВИ ТРЯБВА ДА ГЛАСУВАТ И ИЗБИРАТ ЗА ЕВРО ПОЛИТИЦИ… КАКТО НАРОДА ЩЕ НАЗНАЧАВА ЕВРО ПОЛИТИЦИ, ТАКА НАРОДА И ЩЕ УВОЛНЯВА ЕВРО ПОЛИТИЦИ… МНОГО ЕВРО ПОЛИТИЦИ ТРЯБВА ДА СЕ СМЕНЯТ В ЕВРОПЕЙСКИЯ ПАРЛАМЕНТ, И МНОГО ТРЯБВА ДА СЕ ПРОМЕНИ СИСТЕМАТА В ЕВРОПЕЙСКИЯ ПАРЛАМЕНТ… САМО ТАКА ЕВРОПА ЩЕ ИМА ГОЛЯМА СИГУРНОСТ И ГОЛЯМА ИКОНОМИКА…

    • Rémi Martin

      Car tu crois un instant que l’UE a été créée pour ça? Sérieusement…

  8. David Fernandes Coelho

    The problema is not weather we have 1 or more the problem is that some member countries bend the laws to suit them and some member countries dont comply with the laws and get away with it. What I think should be done is that the European parlament or what ever you want to cal it should be reduced so that less corruption is needed and their will be more Money for what really is necessary.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Because Brussels has done such a great job with the Euro crisis and the migrant crisis ? Nazism, Communism and now a federal European state ? different flags but same crazed ideology.

    • Rémi Martin

      In the name of what Valentin? Can you just give me a common point between all the members-states?

    • Valentin Nebunescu

      Of course. Common defense policy means lower financial effort for the local governments. Common financial policy means that we can create in a space of 10 years an excellent economic climate by levelling the GDP per capita in all EU countries.

  9. Antoine Che

    1st let’s destroy this EU oligarchic and corrupt organization and build a new democratic federation of democratic states… Then we’ll see up to where we should “integrate” so as not to lose our languages, cultures and identities…

    • Rémi Martin

      Why not if it’s the wish of the peoples…

  10. EU Reform- Proactive

    Correction please- meant is “the EU”, Eurozone or Eurogroup- not “Europe”! Again, a (deliberate) finger error?

    Hans-Olaf Henkel’s- “No, not at all”- is a good & realistic answer- to start 2018 on a happy European note!

    The “Commission” is & will try by all means to build a “Unitary Euro” State- come what may! Be it by “hook or by crook or any other devious deceptions”.

    Simple solution: put it out to the German & French voters in a referendum!

    Dare & test if the “two EU giants” finally wish to unite as one “EU stir-fry”- EU state! Please, no more hidden EC “step by step” or dilly dally approach! Be bold & honest!

    Set an example: legitimize or delegitimize the “JCJ’ Commission” and its concept- once and for all. “To be, or not to be”.

    # “Stop Juncker & his one sided Empire builders”.

    Drastically reduce- not increase- jobs & costs in the EU political arena- all in line with efficiency, global automation & robotics. Save national taxpayers money for more serious matters. The EU industry of politics cannot be exempted!

  11. Emrah Can

    Europe should have a common eurozone parliament that will decide how to manage the Eurozone and some fields like fiscal policies . ( not all fiscal policies but in certain fields like taxing big corporations ) . But of course we know which countries wont accept it . ..

  12. Karolina

    Yes, ,it should, You can’t h ave a common currency without a common fiscal policy.

  13. Paul X

    I think Hans-Olaf Henkel has summed it up perfectly, after all, he is more of an expert on the subject than anyone else on here..

  14. Danny boy

    And how exactly will the German taxpayers be able to vote this EU finance minister out of office??,

  15. Andrew Potts

    No it’s not the Euro has been the greatest invention for the German economy can you imagine how many less cars they would sell if priced in DMs. The value of the Euro is depressed by poorer countries so German manufacturing gets a bonus

  16. Helder Ramos

    Not just a common Finance minister, but also a common fiscal policy.

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