France and Germany tabled a joint proposal on Thursday (21 February) to establish a new “eurozone budgetary instrument” that would support national reforms and investments in the single currency bloc. The plan is far from France’s initial ambition to introduce a dedicated budget for the eurozone. Still, it risks running into opposition as part of its funding would come from fresh national contributions, in addition to the EU’s regular budget. EURACTIV.com has analysed the details of the draft proposal. The goal: reforms and investment. As EU leaders agreed last December, France and Germany said the new fiscal instrument’s goal would be to foster competitiveness and convergence among eurozone countries and member states that are candidates to join the euro. “Progress in competitiveness and convergence would also increase the stability of the eurozone”, it says. To reach this goal, the new fund will finance costs directly related to reforms or supporting investment expenditures “in strategic areas related to reform and/or investment priorities identified within the European semester”. For the first time, the 19 eurozone countries agreed in principle on creating a dedicated budget for the single currency area. However, it will lack the stabilisation mechanism sought by Paris, a cornerstone of Emmanuel… Read full this story
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