Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued the following statement in Berlin today (11 January) on the ongoing negotiations aiming at an international agreement to implement the 9 December statement by the euro area Heads of State or Government:
“What is important for Germany in the negotiations is to lay down ambitious and binding rules which will cement a European stability union.
Our aim is to sign the international agreement no later than the beginning of March. We will continue to strive to ensure that Europe as a whole embraces the stability union. The door will not be closed to anyone willing to join in our endeavour. We still want to incorporate the international agreement into the EU as quickly as possible.
We now have to send a signal to our citizens and the markets showing that budgetary discipline will be an immutable part of the euro area. In our view, the following points are of particular importance:
1. The agreement needs to be fully compatible with existing EU treaties, and its provisions need to be binding.
2. EU institutions, especially the European Commission and the European Court of Justice, need to play an important role.
3. In order for national debt limits to take effect, they need to be enshrined in the individual countries, constitutions or at a comparable level.
4. We need to anchor the reverse qualified majority principle in order to automatize the deficit procedure.
5. These considerations need to be linked to the possibility of benefiting from the solidarity of the euro area. Solidarity and sound budgeting are two sides of the same coin.”
Negotiations on the international agreement will be continued in Brussels on Thursday (12 January).