Hamon calls for international treaty to ‘democratise’ eurozone governance

Benoît Hamon at the national council of the French Socialist Party, 18 June 2016. [Parti socialiste/ Flickr]

Benoît Hamon’s proposal of an international treaty between the eurozone countries to increase democratic control of the single currency has raised eyebrows on the left, where such sovereigntist manoeuvring is viewed with suspicion. EURACTIV France reports.

Socialist presidential candidate Hamon yesterday (9 March) unveiled his plans for Europe, which focus on the reformation of eurozone governance.

His objective is to add democratic control to the European Stability Mechanism, the Banking Union and the European Semester. For Hamon, all these EU projects have “consolidated austerity policies within the Economic and Monetary Union”.

In a “draft treaty for the democratisation of eurozone governance”, seen by EURACTIV, the candidate put forward his plans, insisting on the need to respect the EU’s representative democracy and arguing that the bloc’s democratic deficit could be its undoing.

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“Only a complete revision of the European treaties could give the eurozone an institutional framework capable of correcting the founding mistakes of the Economic and Monetary Union,” he said. But treaty change will be difficult, he added, hence the need to begin with a new international treaty between eurozone countries.

The return of national parliaments

For Hamon, future oversight of the eurozone should not fall to the European Parliament but to a parliamentary assembly made up of nationally elected MPs.

This may be a hard pill for many Europhiles to swallow, as it robs the European Parliament of its hard-won credibility as the EU’s only directly elected institution. Hamon has very consciously chosen a sovereigntist position that significantly distances him from Socialist Party grandees such as François Hollande and Pierre Moscovici.

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