Wednesday, January 11, 2012

EU Treaty Draft Offers Wriggle Room

Wall Street Journal
January 11, 2012

The planned European Union fiscal treaty will still oblige countries to write a German-style constitutional debt brake into national law, but gives them more wriggle room for when things go wrong, according to a new draft version seen Wednesday.

"Temporary deviation from the medium-term objective will only be allowed in cases of unusual events outside the control of the contracting party with a major impact on the financial position of the general government," according to the document, "or in periods of severe economic downturn for the euro area, the EU or the concerned contracting party as defined in the revised Stability and Growth Pact."

The draft has also taken out the phrase "deeper integration in the internal market," reflecting the fact that it should be signed by the 17 euro-zone members and nine other EU member states—every EU member state except the U.K., which wants to avoid the single market becoming conflated with the new inter-governmental agreement.


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