Eurozone: EU finance ministers reach reform deal


The EU’s 27 finance ministers — minus the UK, which is expected to leave the bloc next year — on Tuesday reached an agreement on reforms to strengthen the eurozone. 

“After 16 hours of negotiations, we have a result — a good one,” Olaf Scholz, Germany’s finance minister, said on Twitter. “Euro reform is taking decisive steps forward.”

At the core of the agreement is a plan to strengthen the 19-member monetary union’s bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), in the event of a major shock to the European economy. However, debate is still ongoing regarding a eurozone budget and a common system for security savings.

Read more: France and Germany dream up ambitious EU reforms

The reforms now need to be approved by EU leaders at a summit next week in Brussels.

The EU has been discussing eurozone reform for several years, picking up steam after the Greek financial crisis of 2010. French President Emmanuel Macron and the European Commission have presented far-reaching ideas, including the establishment of an EU finance minister and the establishment of a European version of the International Monetary Fund IMF.

National governments for months have considered Macron’s idea for some sort of budget capacity for the eurozone that could be used during any future financial crisis.

dv/rc (AFP, dpa)