Reform and enlargement of the euro zone and the European Commission‘s speech of Jean Claude Juncker in the EP were the main topics of the meeting.
The Reuters Agency has said that euro area finance ministers have discussed the proposals made by France, Germany and the European Commission to reorganize the euro area following the UK’s exit from the European Union. They emphasized that the euro area must first define its problems and then point out what changes are needed to solve them. Extending the euro zone is a “tedious process” that can not be “accelerated”.
EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici pointed out that “no one will be forced to join the euro zone”. He also stressed that the Eurogroup is not a “closed club” and that the EU will support states wishing to enter the common currency zone.
French Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire concluded that enlargement of euro area is obviously necessary. “We have a unique opportunity to advance the process of euro zone integration,” he added, noting that European states are emerging from the crisis.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble stated in turn that “as long as conditions for entry into the euro zone are not met, it is not in the interest of the state to become a member of the monetary union.” He added that monetary union must not allow any country to adopt prematurely because it would expose the stability of the whole group.
Schaeuble also referred to Juncker’s Wednesday speech about the state of the European Union, where the EC President proposed that the euro zone be held by his minister of economy and finance. According to Juncker, such a minister would also be a member of the European Commission (preferably its Vice-President) and the head of the Eurogroup.