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A banking union with or without EU treaty change?

It may be just a minor issue, maybe I’m also getting things wrong, but there seem to be differences in how Commission President Barroso and Vice-President Rehn see the legal situation on the banking union.

On 12 June, the Financial Times Brussels Blog quoted from an interview with José Manuel Durão Barroso that “Treaty change would not be necessary, at least according to the commission” to implement a banking union.

On 20 June, Olli Rehn told during the weekly Commission meeting – in which Barroso was absent, that “a number of future initiatives, such as those on a banking union or European bonds for example, would be impossible to implement unless the European Treaties were first amended” (see page 20 of the minutes).

On 3 July, during his speech in the European Parliament, Barroso claimed the heads of states and governments during the 28-29 June European Councils had supported the Commission’s vision of a banking union. He did not making any specific remarks regarding the legal implications beyond making recourse to Article 127 TFEU and the powers of the European Central Bank to supervise banks.

I wonder whether Rehn and Barroso speak of different banking unions, whether they disagree, or whether they have not synchronised their levels of knowledge and political intentions on this matter. Any ideas?

Image by European Parliament (flickr) | Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0

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