The reform of the Economic and Monetary Union must boost the investment capacity of regions and cities

Ahead of the Commission's presentation on 6 December of new reform proposals on the Eurozone, Pierre Moscovici, the EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, joined CoR members today for a debate on the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union by 2025 and its regional and local implications.

Opening the debate, CoR President ​​Karl‑Heinz Lambertz (PES/Belgium) stressed that "The story of the Economic and Monetary Union cannot be a story of austerity. It should instead reduce disparities in the Eurozone, strengthen social rights and help our local economies grow. This is why we support new tools of stabilisation and investment for the Eurozone a​nd for them to be supported by an adequate budget."

In his intervention, Commissioner Moscovici underlined that "The euro area is now recovering from the crisis but economic and social divergences between and within regions still persist. A more integrated Eurozone is not an end to itself but must contribute to territorial convergence". 

Taking the floor on behalf of the PES Group, Christophe Rouillon, CoR rapporteur on the "Reflection Paper on the Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union by 2025", stressed that "The reform of the EMU is a financial and democratic emergency. The CoR says yes to a Eurozone budget to ensure more convergence and local investments but without cutting resources at the level of the cohesion policy. At the same time, reforms need to increase the democracy and transparency of the EU's economic and monetary policies."

The opinion (which was adopted right after the debate) supports in particular a convergence strategy that builds on creating a euro area fiscal capacity and on turning the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into an integrated European anti-crisis instrument under the responsibility of the European institutions.