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Udo Bullmann: Further progress needed on Eurozone reform


Euro & Finance
Following the conclusion of the Eurogroup this morning on the reform of the European Monetary Union, S&D Group president Udo Bullmann stated:
“The agreement reached by the Eurozone finance ministers includes important elements for the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and we appreciate the efforts of those who have worked hard to make these first results possible. Establishing a banking union backstop within the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and reforming ESM precautionary instruments are good steps forward. However, this cannot be the end of the road.
“This progress contrasts sharply with a lack of a concrete agreements on such important questions such as a Eurozone budget. We are disappointed that finance ministers were unable to reach common understanding on a budget for convergence and stabilisation. The same goes for the Eurogroup’s inability to define a clear roadmap for the introduction of a European Deposit Insurance System.
“The lack of concrete results shows that the Eurogroup has not understood the lessons of the past nor do they understand the challenges that lie ahead. The technical talks that will now take place to keep the last chance for an agreement at next week’s Euro Summit alive must urgently make up for last night’s lack of progress. The S&D Group will continue to lead Parliament to keep the pressure up on Council to agree on a Eurozone budget based on the Commission’s proposal for a European Stabilisation Function, completed with an unemployment re-insurance scheme. Postponing this decision or adopting half-way measures would be a grave mistake the Eurozone ministers cannot afford to make.
“We Socialists and Democrats have been long advocating for and worked tirelessly to equip the Eurozone with all necessary tools to achieve growth, stability and sustainability. Following the recent progress made on risk reduction measures within the EMU, we need concrete progress on the side of risk sharing. The next Euro Summit is a unique opportunity to make the EMU stronger and resilient. We will continue to fight for a better EMU for all European citizens.”