April 9, 2016 – Pagina 99 published an editorial by SEP Scientific Council member Francesco Saraceno, in which he discusses the idea of a European minister of finance. The proposal was first presented by Paris and has now gained support in Rome. In principal, it is a good move. Someone needs to be the custodian of fiscal policy, with the power to make governments revise their budgetary rules, in order to give the euro zone mechanisms to deal with systemic shocks. The Italian suggestion is to create two complimentary entities: a fiscal board tasked with presenting necessary policies to the entire EU and coordinating the implementation of these policies with member states, and a European finance minister who is given his/her own budget, who can focus on Europe-wide public goods (such as the management of refugees, public investment, and cyclical stabilization). Their existence could help the eurozone become more sustainable. At the crux of the issue is that the Monnet method no longer works, and the time has come to decide to either build a common future, or return to a Europe of individual nations.
- The original article (in Italian) is available from Pagina 99.