Request for advice on deepening EMU

November 16, 2016

Professor J.G. de Hoop Scheffer
Chairman of the Advisory Council on International Affairs
P.O. Box 20061
2500 EB The Hague

Date      October 2016
Re          Request for advice on deepening EMU

Dear Professor De Hoop Scheffer,

The further development of the eurozone is one of the key issues in the current process of European integration.

The report entitled ‘Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union’ drawn up by the President of the European Commission in close cooperation with the President of the Euro Summit, the President of the Eurogroup, the President of the European Central Bank and the President of the European Parliament (the Five Presidents’ Report) sets out the steps that need to be taken to improve economic governance of the eurozone and ultimately bring about financial and fiscal union. The government has expressed its views on the report and the associated proposals in various responses (Parliamentary Papers 21501-20, nos. 996 and 1051).

Steps have already been taken to strengthen the eurozone, and the European Commission is preparing measures for the longer term on the basis of the Five Presidents’ Report. The government sees no reason to take major steps towards further integration of the eurozone. Nevertheless it understands the need to carefully weigh up the options available within the current treaty frameworks to strengthen economic and monetary union. The government would appreciate receiving an advisory report on this issue from the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) next spring, based on the following questions:

  1. What steps can be taken within the limits of the current treaty framework to strengthen governance of the EMU in order to promote growth and the ability to absorb shocks in individual member states and the EMU as a whole?
  2. What steps can be taken within the limits of the current treaty framework to promote real economic convergence within the eurozone?
  3. Can the Advisory Council explain the implications of the individual steps in questions 1 and 2 for the Netherlands’ economy and financial interests?
  4. To what extent can the individual steps aimed at strengthening governance of the EMU and promoting real convergence influence political and economic cooperation at a wider EU level, with member states outside the eurozone – e.g. regarding decision-making on and the integrity of the internal market?

I look forward to receiving your report.

Yours sincerely,

Bert Koenders
Minister of Foreign Affairs