Moscovici calls for creation of Eurozone Finance Minister

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes is against the idea...

Moscovici calls for creation of Eurozone Finance Minister

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici at the World Economic Forum in Davos. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

The European Parliament has proposed the establishment of an EU Finance Minister.

The idea, backed by European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici, to create a chair of all eurozone ministers is part of a number of proposed reforms to EU operations which MEPs voted on today.

MEPs are also suggesting giving the EU Commission the power to formulate and introduce a common economic policy, that would be backed by a eurozone budget.

Moscovici said in a speech today in Vienna:

"Some argue that deepening the euro area might be divisive as not all 27 member states are members of the euro. I believe this would be a deep mistake."

He had told reporters before his speech:

"I'm in favour of a treasury for the eurozone. I'm in favour of a budget or a fiscal capacity of the euro zone of a limited amount capable of helping us to invest on the one hand and also fight unemployment."



Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes (pictured) has argued that the proposal to create an EU Finance Minister is unrealistic and unwarranted:

"You would merge together the role that currently Commissioner Moscovici has with the role of [Eurogroup president] Mr Dijsselbloem and create this new chair of the eurozone ministers who would have absolute power when it came to making sure that the rules on financial governance are applied.

"Now, that's not a bad idea per se, but I don't think we should give the impression that this new Finance Minister has the right to decide tax rates, has the right to decide how member states' budgets are determined."

Moscovici also argued that Brexit could serve to strengthen the euro:

"With the exit of the UK from the EU, most remaining non-euro area member states can be expected to enter the euro sooner or later."