Europe: On Eurozone Reform, France's Northern Allies Remain Unconvinced

Oct 11, 2017 | 15:03 GMT


Forecast Update

In Stratfor's Fourth-Quarter Forecast, we wrote that intense discussion about the future of the European Union would dominate the last quarter of the year in Europe. We noted that debates would once again reveal the frictions between Southern and Northern Europe, as the former demands more public spending and the latter demands more control of their fiscal policies. The indications that Northern European powers are skeptical of France's eurozone reform goals align with our forecast.

France remains insistent on its grand designs for eurozone reform, but its partners in Northern Europe are less than impressed by the country's ideas. In late September, French President Emmanuel Macron presented a series of proposals for EU reform, including greater public spending at the continental level, a separate budget for the eurozone and the creation of a finance minister for the currency area. And in a speech in Frankfurt on Oct. 10, Macron expressed concern about the European Union's inability to approve economic measures when it has successfully increased cooperation on issues such as security, energy and migration. According to Macron, leaders ought to be finished debating the future of the bloc before the next elections for the EU Parliament, which are scheduled for mid-2019....

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