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Lords investigating genuine economic and monetary union to visit Germany

The House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs will visit Berlin and Frankfurt later this week as part of their investigation into Genuine Economic and Monetary Union (GEMU).

A host of witnesses, including representatives from the German Finance Ministry, Bundestag and Bundesbank, as well as the ECB, will be quizzed on Germany's reluctance to accept contentious elements of GEMU including full Banking Union, and the country's unwillingness to share liability for the debt of other eurozone countries.

Witnesses include Professor Otmar Issing, from the Centre for Financial Studies at Goethe University, Thomas Westphal, Director General Europe, German Ministry of Finance, Mannfred Zöllmer, SPD MP and Bettina Kudla, CDU/CSU MP.

The Lords Committee is investigating EU plans for GEMU, asking how effective the plans will be and how much the UK should be involved in the proposals.

The Committee will also ask a range of other questions such as:

  • Do countries such as Germany running a current account surplus have a responsibility for stimulating demand in order to create growth across the eurozone?
  • Why does Germany not appear willing to support the three-pronged model of banking union, including single supervision, resolution and deposit insurance?
  • What will be the consequences of a “timber-framed” rather than a “steel-framed” bank resolution construction?
  • Is German resistance to debt mutualisation likely to diminish?
  • Does Germany still support a Financial Transaction Tax?

The evidence sessions will span three days, starting on Wednesday 6 November and finishing on Friday 8 November. The Chair of the Committee will be available for interview at selected times throughout the visit – please contact the press office for availability.

The session will be webcast at and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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