Press release: “Better no Eurozone budget than a useless one”

The Eurosummit, which is meeting today in inclusive format, confirmed the broad agreement reached by the Eurogroup earlier this week on the creation of a budgetary instrument for competitiveness and convergence.

“Nobody can claim this is a real budget for the Eurozone. If a symbolic gesture with little practical use is all Member States could agree, it would be better to have no agreement at all!”, comments Christopher Glück, President of the Young European Federalists (JEF Europe).

“Today’s decision does little more than paying lip-service to one of the essential weaknesses of the Economic and Monetary Union. By ruling out, since the very beginning of the negotiations, the need for a budgetary capacity providing macroeconomic stabilisation, the Eurogroup and Eurosummit have left the Eurozone without a real fiscal instrument, all the while taking the issue completely off the table for the foreseeable future, continues Glück.

“The Eurosummit’s proposal is not only too small to have any macroeconomic impact, it also duplicates existing programmes – like investEU and the structural funds – instead of filling the structural gaps in the Eurozone architecture. An intergovernmental agreement – while still lacking the necessary democratic accountability – would have at least opened the possibility to go above and beyond the ceilings of the general EU budget in case of a crisis like what we experienced in 2008-2009 or in 2012, allowing a rapid scale-up of the Eurozone’s fiscal firepower. The current spending plans, which focus instead on a perverse notion of juste retour of Member States’ contributions, do not provide the flexibility to spend the funds where and when it is needed. With today’s decision, time has effectively ran out to fix the roof while the sun was shining. The Eurozone will not get another budget anytime soon: that’s why it was so important to get the groundwork right this time, even at the price of a lower overall amount for the Eurozone budgetary capacity”, concludes Glück.

About JEF Europe

The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO active with 13.000  members active in more than 30 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights. JEF promotes true European Citizenship, and works towards more active participation of young people in democratic life. While the umbrella organisation JEF Europe was founded in 1972, its sections have been operating continuously since the end of the Second World War, making it the oldest pro-European and only federalist youth organisation.

More info

JEF Europe
European Secretariat
+32 2 512 00 53