The Future of the Economic and Monetary Union: Reform Perspectives in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands

Författare: Eriksson Jonas, Destais Christophe, Jones Erik, Schout Adriaan, Schwarzer Daniela

In the discussion about EU’s future, a euro area reform is one of the main priorities. Regarding the scope of the reforms, the position defended by Germany will be crucial, but the EMU members’ differing views of the Economic and Monetary Union also need to be considered.

The financial and economic crisis in the late 2000s laid bare flaws in the legal and institutional architecture of the euro area.

Today, there is general agreement on the need of reforms as well as on some reform areas. However, the balance between risk sharing and risk reduction remains a contentious issue. The union's weaker economies put the emphasis on common debt mutualisation and thus risk sharing, while the stronger ones defend a stronger role for the market and hence risk reduction.

The purpose of this anthology is to explore what reforms can be expected in view of how Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands perceive EMU and the euro crisis.

To consider the different experiences of the crisis seems particularly important when it comes to Italy, where the difficulties to form a government has been dominating since the elections on 4 March.

Another conclusion is that the more far-reaching reforms proposed by the European Commission unlikely will meet much understanding in Germany. Today, German politicians have a better understanding of the adverse effects of austerity measures but are reluctant to transfer funds to economically weaker EMU members.