Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s vice-chancellor in Angela Merkel’s coalition government, and Emmanuel Macron, France’s economics minister, reopened a crucial debate with their call for “an embryo euro area budget” as the only way for the EU to survive.
“This budget would have its own revenues (for instance a common financial transaction tax, as well as a small portion of a harmonised corporate tax) and would provide for borrowing on that basis,” the politicians pointed out in an op-ed published by several newspapers on June 3.
The Gabriel-Macron initiative is quite at odds with the Franco-German official proposal on eurozone reforms to be put to a Brussels summit of EU leaders later this month. Merkel and Hollande say there should be no re-opening of the EU treaties for the foreseeable future. A eurozone-level budget would require a total overhaul of the EU treaties.