German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is advocating changes to European Union (EU) treaties that will allow the EU’s monetary affairs commissioner to reject national budgets and prevent non-eurozone countries, like Britain, from nixing eurozone-only measures.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Schaeuble has discussed his proposals with Chancellor Angela Merkel, and he wants the changes as early as next year. Just Monday, Reuters reported that Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, proposed that Britain opt out of more than 130 EU regulations, with one of his allies proposing that the U.K. leave the EU altogether.
Schaeuble’s proposals are sure to rankle Cameron, who is heading in the opposite direction and already vetoed a eurozone-only EU austerity treaty last year. In the end the treaty was approved without Britain. But Schaeuble is determined to boost the EU’s powers while lessening those of national governments, as well as making the EU Parliament more potent.
“We must take bigger steps toward fiscal union now,” Schaeuble was quoted saying. “We could be ready by December to call a convention” to put together changes for the treaties.