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Former chief economist at ECB to give evidence to Lords Committee exploring economic and monetary union within the EU

The former Chief Economist at the European Central Bank, Otmar Issing, will give his views on economic and monetary union to a Lords EU Committee on Thursday 3 March.

The House of Lords EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee is currently holding an inquiry into EMU, as outlined in the Five Presidents' Report and the recent European Commission Communication.

Mr Issing, who was an Executive Board Member at the ECB and an economics professor in his native Germany, will be asked about the German perspective on fiscal union, institution strengthening, the ECB and its mandate, the creation of a ‘eurozone parliament', and other issues.

Specific questions which the Committee will put to the witnesses could include:

  • What is your assessment of the Five Presidents' Report?
  • Has enough been done to ensure the euro's long-term sustainability?
  • Is debt mutualisation something that you would rule out forever, or could it be justified in due course?
  • Is there a case for reviewing the formal mandate of the ECB or for curbing some of the recent broadening of its governance functions?
  • What is your view of greater political integration?
  • What about the formation of eurozone parliamentary structures?
  • What is your understanding of the term “fiscal union”?
  • What type of fiscal union would be politically and economically acceptable to Germany?
  • Does German opposition to a European Deposit Insurance Scheme go against the rationale for creating a Banking Union in the first place?
The evidence session will start at 10:30am on Thursday 3 March. It will be in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

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