A fiscal union for the EMU?

At a two-day conference organized by the Horizon 2020 project ADEMU, the European Stability Mechanism, the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of Spain, participants representing the European Commission, central and private banking groups and economic research groups discussed the need for – and the scope of – a fiscal union within the European Monetary Union (EMU).

During the conference, held at the Bank of Spain’s Madrid headquarters, 57 international economists, lawyers, social scientists and researchers presented research and findings into the need for a fiscal union and discussed the future of the euro area.

Participants discussed their own research alongside the EC’s current proposals for the EMU, detailed in its White Paper on the Future of Europe. In the paper, the EC suggests five suggested outcomes: 1) carrying on; 2) nothing but the single market; 3) those who want more do more; 4) doing less more efficiently, and 5) doing much more together.

Introducing the conference, ADEMU’s scientific co-ordinator Ramon Marimon referred to the white paper. Rather than the five scenarios suggested in the paper, he said, there was one over-riding principle: the ‘3½ solution’, in which those who want to, do more, but only what can be done efficiently is done.

He added: “As social scientists, we can use the 3½ principle to reassess the fiscal and monetary framework of the EU and, in particular, of the EA, which is the objective of ADEMU.”

Speaking after the conference, he said: “It was very interesting to note that there was a firm consensus among such a wide range of experts in many areas, particularly the need for a minimal form of fiscal union for the EMU.”

Other proposals discussed included:

  • The need to complete the European Banking Union, with an effective resolution mechanism, the capacity to confront difficult resolution processes (debtor-in-possession financing) and common deposit insurance;
  • The implementation of fiscal transparency and independent fiscal institutions alongside existing procedures to penalise false reporting;
  • Risk-sharing and unemployment insurance to improve existing schemes of debt financing and national unemployment insurance.

The conference marks the second year of ADEMU project. The three-year EC and Horizon 2020-funded project, set up to conduct a rigorous investigation of risks to the long-run sustainability of EMU and reassess the overall fiscal and monetary framework of the EU, is due to end in May 2018. As they enter the final year, researchers and co-ordinators are preparing detailed institutional proposals for optimal fiscal risk-sharing among EMU member states. The feedback of such a wide-range of experts involved at the very heart of the process provides valuable insight at this crucial stage.

You can see slides and papers from the conference on the ADEMU website: www.ademu-project.eu/a-fiscal-union-for-the-emu-conference-review-with-slides-papers-and-photos/

The presentations or conclusions of the conference do not necessarily reflect the views of the organising partners, and should not be reported as such.

High resolution photographs accompanying this press release are available to download at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bz3xKPPb8XvSQ0laaVRaNjZvajg?usp=sharing


ADEMU is a three-year Horizon 2020 research project set up to reassess the overall fiscal and monetary framework of the EU and examine the long-term sustainability of the European Monetary Union (EMU). It aims to provide concrete and implementable policy proposals for the reform of the EMU through the application of the methods of modern macroeconomics and on the basis of empirical facts. Led by scientific co-ordinator Ramon Marimon, the project benefits from the expertise of 54 academics and over 30 PhD and post-doc researchers in the field of macroeconomics and fiscal policy. Participants come from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, the Catholic University of Portugal, the Charles University in Prague, the European University Institute in Florence, the Toulouse School of Economics, University College London, the University of Bonn and the University of Cambridge.

You can see a full list of current working papers from the project at


For upcoming events, go to www.ademu-project.eu/upcoming-activities/

For further information about ADEMU research, contact the project manager, Margherita Fabbri (margherita.fabbri@eui)

For press enquiries, including requests for photographs and interviews, contact Juliet Shaw at Juliet.shaw@barcelonagse.eu