Finland believes over-indebtedness, the lack of market discipline, and the fateful ties between banks and nation states to be the key problems of the Economic and Monetary Union of the EU (EMU), says Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance.
Orpo on Tuesday revealed that the country has found seven fellow member states who share its views on the EMU: Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and the Netherlands.
“Finland has drawn and continues to draw attention to the importance of market discipline and member states’ responsibility for their own economies in its statements on the development of the EMU,” he tells in a press release from the Ministry of Finance.
The eight member states issued a joint, six-item statement on the architecture of the EMU on Tuesday, underscoring that the monetary union should be developed in an inclusive way as unity is a key asset for the EU27.
“New EMU initiatives should be open on a voluntary basis to non-euro area countries on equivalent terms,” they stated.
The member states stressed that it is crucial to focus on initiatives that have public support in member states if the bloc is to regain the trust of the public.
“Priority should be given to areas with the greatest convergence of views between member states, notably the completion of the banking union and the transformation of the ESM [European Stability Mechanism] into a European Monetary Fund (EMF).”
The octad also urged all member states to implement structural reforms and abide by the stability and growth pact in order to build up fiscal buffers in their national budgets and prepare for economic downturns.
“Recent growth rates in member states that implemented reforms during and after the crisis illustrate that reform efforts pay off,” they highlighted. “Potential for further reforms remains. Better focus of the EU budget on structural reform could support their implementation, while targeted investments financed by the EU budget could also complement the efforts of structural reforms.”
The EU, they added, should utilise the strengthened fiscal, economic and financial frameworks in place to deliver concrete results for citizens across the bloc in terms of stability, jobs and growth.
Finland and its like-minded member states additionally re-affirmed their commitment to completing the banking union and developing the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) towards a European Monetary Fund (EMF).
The EMF, they said, should have greater responsibility for the development and monitoring of financial assistance programmes while ensuring that decision making remains firmly in the hands of member states.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva