From Rome to Maastricht and Beyond: Guiding Principles for Consolidating and Advancing the European Project

François Villeroy de Galhau Gouverneur, Banque de France. L'auteur tient à remercier Laurent Abraham, Carine Bouthevillain, Pavel Diev et Céline Mistretta-Belna pour leur collaboration dans la préparation de ce texte.


Since the signature of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, Europe has shown a remarkable collective determination in building the shared assets that are the single market and the euro. The path has not always been easy, and the crisis cruelly exposed the shortcomings of the European Union. But Europe's past successes in overcoming the challenges it faced stand as powerful lessons for the future. In order to control our common destiny, what we need is not less Europe, but rather a better Europe, a Europe that is more focused on its priorities. On an economic level, we need to complete the success of our monetary union with a genuine economic union, as this is the only way to provide lasting support for growth. This can be achieved through three concrete projects. The first immediate one is a Financing Union for Investment and Innovation, to better channel our abundance of savings towards investment and innovation. The second is a collective euro area economic strategy, with more national reforms where they are needed, such as in France, and more fiscal support where there is room for manoeuvre. This shared commitment by our Member States could be backed up by a euro area Finance Minister. Lastly, in the longer term, a euro area fiscal capacity would put the finishing touch to our union, by equipping it with a tool for stabilisation and solidarity.


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Footnotes

1   Préambule du traité de Rome.

2   « L'achèvement du marché unique des capitaux », discours de Benoît Cœuré, série de conférences de l'ICMA sur les marchés de capitaux, Paris, 19 mai 2014, www.ecb.europa.eu/press/key/date/2014/html/sp140519_1.fr.html.

3   Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Mario Draghi et Martin Schulz.


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