German Chancellor Angela Merkel has revealed her long-term vision for Europe, saying the debt crisis is forcing eurozone countries towards a federalist model and placing her on a collision course with the more eurosceptic UK.
Even if Germany had to write off the loans it extended to Southern European countries as part of the eurozone’s emergency rescue measures, the economic advantages of its membership would still be overwhelming, according to a recent study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung.
In a rare political declaration, Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), has rejected "binary choices" for the eurozone's future, dismissing calls for a "United States of Europe" as well as a return to national currencies to stop the sovereign debt crisis.
The EU's 27 finance ministers will be debating new transfers of power to the European Commission when they meet on Tuesday (21 February), as they examine proposals to tighten control over member states' budgets in the wake of the eurozone's debt crisis.
The euro rose to a seven-week high against the US dollar yesterday (21 August), fuelled by speculation the European Central Bank could soon act to stem the region's debt crisis by lowering Spanish and Italian borrowing costs.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy interrupted his holiday in Seville yesterday (28 August) to visit Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Madrid, while Commission President José Manuel Barroso received Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti. A flurry of other upcoming meetings marks the beginning of a heated season.
There are quicker ways to save the euro than modifying the EU treaties, says European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in a paper to be discussed at a crunch European summit on Thursday. EurActiv provides the text of the blueprint.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti won praise and political backing from other EU heads of states, including Germany's Angela Merkel, at a two-day summit meeting which opened in Brussels yesterday (13 December). Some of Monti's economic ideas also gained traction, with large infrastructure investments set to be taken out of public deficit calculations.
José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, has tabled a blueprint for deeper economic and monetary union in the eurozone, saying a more federal Europe is the only way to address the root causes of the sovereign debt crisis.
Despite claims that there should be "no taboo" subjects on the table, French officials who were visiting Brussels for the first time yesterday (29 May) since the Presidential election, appeared hesitant to take the big federalist leap that Germany and others in the European Union are asking for in return for greater solidarity in the euro zone.
Economic experts watching Spain don't know how much money will be needed or precisely when, but some are near certain that Madrid will eventually seek a multibillion euro bailout for its banks, and perhaps even for the state itself.