Communication from the Commuission: A blueprint for a deep and genuine economic and monetary union Launching a European Debate (Com(2012) 777 final)
The Blueprint sets out the Commission's vision for a strong and stable architecture for the future of the Economic and Monetary Union, and the concrete proposals to make it a reality. It presents a clear timeframe for reform in the financial, fiscal, economic and political fields.
The Blueprint was published in November 2012 to help solve the crisis of confidence that has called into question the very existence of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). It is a contribution to the ongoing debate on the future of the EMU, building on the important measures already taken to solve the crisis.
The suggested reforms balance the need for more responsibility in the EMU with the need for more solidarity, and could be rolled out, step-by-step, over the short, medium and longer term. Some of the measures can be enacted under the current Treaties and some will require Treaty change.
- In the short term (within 6 to 18 months), we should complete the Banking Union and - once an agreement on the MFF has been reached - create a "convergence and competitiveness instrument" within the EU budget to support the timely implementation of structural reforms. This support could be based on commitments set out in "contractual arrangements" concluded between Member States and the EU institutions.
- In the medium term (18 months to 5 years), a further strengthening of the collective conduct of budgetary and economic policy - including tax and employment policy – could go hand-in-hand with a dedicated fiscal capacity for the euro area, relying on own resources and providing sufficient support for important structural reforms in large economies under stress. Short-term eurobills or a debt redemption fund, subject to strict conditionality, could be also be considered.
- In the longer term (beyond 5 years), based on the adequate pooling of sovereignty, responsibility and solidarity at the European level, it should be possible to establish an autonomous euro area budget providing for a fiscal capacity for the EMU. A deeply integrated economic and fiscal governance framework could allow for the common issuance of public debt. This could be the final stage in EMU.
- Increased democratic accountability must accompany any a treaty change conferring further supranational powers on the EU level.
The Blueprint also feeds into the debate at the European Council, which has agreed on a roadmap for the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union, based on deeper integration and reinforced solidarity.
Since publishing the Blueprint, the Commission has also published two Communications to develop its ideas on the ex-ante coordination of major economic reform plans and on a Convergence and Competitiveness Instrument.
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