EU single currency reform won't be 'perfect': Moscovici

Economy February 19, 2018 06:59

By Agence France-Presse

EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Sunday he does not expect a "perfect" accord on reforming the single currency at an EU summit in June.

"We won't get everything, we won't have a perfect accord, but if there is progress on crisis management, the ability to combat shocks... we will have made a great step forward," he told French radio RFI on the eve of a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels.

As the 19-nation currency area finally emerges from years of crisis, there is agreement in many eurozone capitals that it must be buttressed to better weather future economic storms -- but not all countries agree on how best to do it.

Moscovici said a "real window of opportunity" opened last year with the election of reformist President Emmanuel Macron.

The French leader has set out an ambitious vision for European reforms, including having a separate eurozone budget and finance minister.

But the window "will probably close" in the run-up to next year's European Parliament elections, Moscovici said.

The left-right "grand coalition" reached in EU powerhouse Germany last week between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Social Democrats is cautiously supportive of Macron's reform proposals.

But Moscovici, France's former finance minister, said Sunday that while he was in favour of a "real eurozone budget... we know we won't have it".

He said he nevertheless hoped "we take the first real steps forward" at the June summit.