Five Presidents Report (Part 3)

Summary and Conclusions

Evidence is absent that EU/EMU will deliver the declared outcomes. Annex 2 of the 5PR confirms that the purpose of EU/EMU is to govern its member nations.

The first stage … would be devoted to assessing the situation
in the euro area as a whole. The Commission’s Annual Growth Survey (AGS) would be the basis for this discussion … The AGS would be presented to and discussed by the European Parliament.” “The following stage … would be devoted to reviewing and assessing the performance and policies of the Member States … This is the phase where Member States should systematically involve national Parliaments … in the discussion of national priorities.”

The case is nowhere substantiated that union can deliver desirable outcomes better than individual nations.

Economic, political and monetary union have become the rationale for the creation of treaties, laws and institutions that have no other rationale. The ideas that could justify union are simply missing; instead we are invited to accept EU and EMU uncritically, and there the case rests.

In due course the theoretical and practical gaps will become evident, because the project won’t deliver the promised economic, democratic or social developments but, instead, will result in stasis – at best. Indeed, the demands of the project will obstruct the activities that would bring about desired developments naturally. This is already evident in the volume of unnecessary legislation to which member states and their peoples have to conform in order to participate in the union projects.

Alternative Views

A variety, not all critical, including comments on the Five Presidents’ Report, follows:

Pro-EU on the whole but offers support to sceptics.

A treaty change and a fiscal union are nowhere in sight in the eurozone.” This is specifically contradicted in the Report.

Britain should not delude itself into thinking that a few legal tweaks will leave its position in the EU entirely untouched in the future, especially if it pushes itself deliberately to the side.” A firm note of warning, confirming our claim underThe UK is Different‘.

A professorial analysis of the Five Presidents’ report, broadly supportive.

Critical of the report but not of EMU as such.

“…the outside meddling in domestic policy issues (and that is how the aim for structural convergence will be perceived in most countries) will delegitimise the eurozone, especially if the focus on structural policies does not improve the citizens’ economic well-being.”

In my assessment, monetary union is not sustainable in its current set-up. Unemployment remains too high, growth too weak, political tensions too large, financial fragilities too substantial. Combined, these factors suggest that major frictions or fault lines will continue to characterise the euro area and could eventually lead to its disintegration.”

But his conclusion is that more Europe is needed. (See the Comment by P. Schneider)

Most importantly, for the euro to survive, banking, fiscal and political union will be needed between members. The UK would be an outsider – but still inside the EU. How this would work is impossible to know.”

“[The EU] decided to adopt the euro and that has been a complete disaster. And it has introduced countless restrictions and regulations on business that are responsible for the average growth rate of its members being below that of other comparable countries – even without the euro disaster.”


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