'Whatever it takes': the Five Presidents' Report on completing Economic and Monetary Union Contents

Appendix 4: Short-term proposals emanating from the Five Presidents’ Report, to be completed by June 2017

Five Presidents’ proposal

Thematic heading

Steps taken by the Commission

Timetable/state of play

Creation of a euro area system of Competitiveness Authorities

Economic Union

The Commission issued a Recommendation on 21 October 2015 on the establishment of National Competitiveness Boards within the Euro Area. Non-euro area Member States are also encouraged to establish such boards.

Ongoing. For instance, the UK is still considering whether to establish a board.

Strengthened implementation of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure

Economic Union

The Commission Communication says that it will ensure greater transparency in the MIP through publication of more data and explicit justification of decisions taken. The Commission also calls for stronger follow-up of excessive imbalances. It will engage with Competitiveness Boards on how best to address imbalances.


Greater focus on employment and social performance

Economic Union

Further emphasis is being placed on these aspects as part of the European Semester. “Social” indicators have been added to the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure Scoreboard.

Introduced in the current European Semester cycle.

Stronger coordination of economic policies within a revamped European Semester

Economic Union/Democratic accountability

Following the October Communication the Commission introduced a specific discussion of the fiscal, economic, social and financial priorities for the euro area as a whole as part of its November Annual Growth Survey. The aim was to discuss overarching matters early in order to provide orientations for country-specific programmes in the spring.

Implemented in November 2015.

Setting up bridge financing for the Single Resolution Fund (SRF)

Financial Union

The Fund is designed to be built up gradually through Member State contributions raised from the banking industry. In the meantime bridge financing will be necessary. This was agreed by Ministers at ECOFIN in December 2015.

In place since 1 January 2016.

Implementing concrete steps towards the common backstop to the SRF

Financial Union

The Commission has encouraged discussion among Member States of the creation of a more robust backstop via the ESM.

Ministers agreed in principle to the creation of a common backstop, to be operational at the end of the transitional period, at the ECOFIN meeting of 8 December 2015. The Council statement makes no mention of the ESM.

Agreeing on a common Deposit Insurance Scheme

Financial Union

A legislative proposal to establish a European Deposit Insurance Scheme was published on 26 November.

Negotiations are ongoing and are being treated as a priority by the Dutch Presidency of the EU in the first semester of 2016.

Improving the effectiveness of the instrument for direct bank recapitalisation in the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)

Financial Union

This was not mentioned in the October or November documents.


A new advisory European Fiscal Board

Fiscal Union

This was adopted by a Commission Decision on 21 October. Originally the Head of Secretariat was to be the Commission’s Chief Economic Analyst. An amendment of 12 February 2016 separated the roles.

The Board has been established but not yet appointed and is therefore not operational.

Strengthen parliamentary control as part of the European Semester


Increase the level of cooperation between the European Parliament and national parliaments

Democratic accountability

The Communication notes work to enhance “Economic dialogues” between the EP, Commission, Council and Eurogroup, the participation of national parliament representatives in the European Parliamentary Week and the right of national parliaments to “convene a Commissioner” to present the Commission’s opinion on a draft budgetary plan. It suggests further engagement by Commissioners with the EP and more efficient interaction with national parliaments.

This is largely in the hands of individual Member State parliaments and the European Parliament. The 2016 European Parliamentary Week took place in February. We are not currently aware of any national parliaments stepping up engagement with Commissioners in respect of draft budgetary plans.

Reinforce the steer of the Eurogroup (by increasing its involvement in the European Semester and “a reinforcement of its presidency and means at its disposal”.

Democratic accountability

The role of the Eurogroup in the revamped European Semester is described above. No plans have yet emerged to reinforce the presidency.


Take steps towards a consolidated external representation of the euro area

Democratic accountability

A Commission Communication was published on 21 October, alongside a proposal for a Council Decision on unified representation of the euro area at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

No agreement has yet been reached on the IMF proposal.

Integrate into EU law the TSCG, relevant parts of the Euro Plus Pact and the Inter-governmental Agreement on the SRF

Democratic accountability

The Communication of 21 October mentions a review of the transposition of the Fiscal Compact into national law but nothing about incorporating the TSCG into EU law.

No review has taken place.

© Parliamentary copyright 2016