Ireland and others publish paper outlining shared views and values to create a stronger Economic & Monetary Union

6th March, 2018

Today (Tuesday) the Finance Ministers of Ireland, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden – published a paper setting out their shared views and values to create a stronger Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This includes that future discussions take place in inclusive format with all twenty seven Member States; the importance of action at national level and with a focus on initiatives with public support; a commitment to completing banking union; a strengthened European Stability Mechanism; and an EU budget that can foster sustainable growth.

At Eurogroup and Ecofin in recent months, Finance Ministers have agreed to give priority to issues where there is the largest degree of convergence and that Banking Union completion and the further development of the European Stability Mechanism (the EU crisis management fund) were the immediate priorities.

Finance Ministers will meet next week and, following that, leaders of the 19 EU Member States that share the common currency, will meet to consider progress at the end of this month. In June 2018, EU leaders will aim to make a first set of decisions on completion of EMU, providing guidance on the way forward.

Minister Donohoe said: β€˜The publication of this initiative is an important step and sets out a number of common values with like-minded countries, the aim of which is to help us build a stronger Economic and Monetary Union. A stronger EMU will create the conditions within which open economies can trade for the benefit of their citizens. These values show a shared approach to fostering such a Union.”


Important discussions began in December 2017, by European leaders, including the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, on the future of Economic and Monetary Union. The discussion was guided by a note entitled β€œLeaders Agenda” on EMU from the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, which outlined a number of ideas where there is a broad convergence, such as putting into operation a common backstop for the Single Resolution Fund; and further developing the Ecofin Council Roadmap of June 2016 on completing the Banking Union, including the gradual introduction of a European Deposit Insurance Scheme.

Following that meeting, leaders mandated the Eurogroup / Ecofin Council to take forward work on these issues, giving priority to those where there is the largest degree of convergence and report back report back to the European Council next June.

Six important values

  • Discussions about the future of the EMU should take place in an inclusive format as the future of Economic and Monetary Union is relevant to all;
  • A stronger EMU requires first and foremost decisive actions at the national level and full compliance with our common rules, also known as the Stability and Growth Pact;
  • There must be focus on initiatives that have public support in Member States; further deepening of the EMU should stress real value-added, not far-reaching transfers of competence to the European level;
  • The eight countries are committed to the process of completing the Banking Union.
  • The European Stabilisation Mechanism (ESM) should be strengthened and possibly developed into a European Monetary Fund (EMF). Decision making should remain firmly in the hands of Member States.
  • The post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework can help to foster sustainable growth and can be better aligned to the implementation of structural reforms, whilst respecting the responsibility and ownership of Member States for such reforms.