Fiscal union

Germany Needs To Get Real

EU-Gipfel in Brüssel
Will Angela Merkel follow French President Emmanuel Macron's lead toward a genuine fiscal union for the EU? Source: Olivier Matthys/DPA

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced what appeared to be the next steps for European unity from inside a beer tent recently, many people thought: At last, something is going to happen after all these crises.

It sounded as though Ms. Merkel was responding to the proposals of newly elected French president, Emmanuel Macron, about European policy – at least superficially.

Mr. Macron had not talked about details at first either. But in contrast to the Germans, he does want a genuine fiscal union. This doesn’t mean appointing a European finance minister or setting up a joint investment fund. It means the establishment of well-defined fiscal sovereignty along with the right to issue debt certificates without requesting permission from Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble. A European finance minister would enjoy political sovereignty there.

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