Eurozone budget: 3 functions, 3 instruments
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The idea of creating a separate Eurozone budget is gaining momentum, after the latest European Council mentioned the creation of an “appropriate fiscal capacity” for the Eurozone as something to be “further explored”. In this context, it seems particularly important to discuss the features of an eventual eurozone budget.
In particular, there are several open questions that need to be answered concerning the role, format and characteristics of an EMU budget:
- What type of functions would this budget perform?
- How big would it be, and how is going to be financed?
- Who would participate into it? Would it be strictly reserved to Eurozone countries, or open to other non-EMU countries willing to join the Eurozone in the long term (following the model of the TSCG)?
- Would it entail a borrowing capacity?
- Last but not least, who would be in charge of exercising the democratic control of this budget?
This tribune by Eulalia Rubio, based on her intervention at the workshop “The EU budget: a driving force for changing Europe?” organised by Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute in Rome on 30 October 2012, in partnership with the Istituto Affari Internazionali, the Centro Studi sul Federalismo and the Institut für europäische Politik. It provides some thoughts on how to answer these questions. The key argument of the article is as follows: depending on how you answer the first question (functions), you would give different answers to the rest of the questions. In other words, different functions probably require totally distinct types of EMU budgetary instruments.