France

VI - Euro Plus Pact

On March 11, 2011 the Heads of State or Government of the Eurozone endorsed the Pact for the Euro. At the 24/25 March 2011 European Council, the same Heads of State or Government agreed on the Euro Plus Pact and were joined – hence the ‘Plus’ – by six others: Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania (leaving only the UK, Czech Republic, Sweden and Hungary out).
The objective of the pact is to foster competitiveness, foster employment, contribute to the sustainability of public finances and reinforce financial stability. In the Euro-Plus-Pact the Heads of State or Government have entered into commitments on a number of policy areas, in which member states are competent.    
(
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/120296.pdf)

Negotiation
VI.1
What political/legal difficulties
did France encounter in the negotiation of the Euro-Plus-Pact, in particular in relation to the implications of the Pact for (budgetary) sovereignty, constitutional law, socio-economic fundamental rights, and the budgetary process.

The French government presented the Euro-Pact as the result, for a great part, of its own leadership – but in cooperation with Germany[1]. The government thus emphasised relatively enthusiastically, before Parliament, its novelty and necessity. It stressed how the Euro-Pact mentioned for the first time the notion of a “European economic government” as the counterpart of the single currency. Beyond the balancing of public finances, the government praised the introduction of concerns for more “offensive competitiveness” through investment and facilitation of youth employment; the association of the social partners to the economic government; and the talks about more fiscal convergence and harmonisation of part of corporate tax law.

Miscellaneous
VI.2
What other information is relevant with regard to France and the Euro-Plus-Pact?

Not applicable.

[1] Comptes rendus de la Commission des Affaires européennes du Sénat, 22 Mars 2011: http://www.senat.fr/compte-rendu-commissions/20110322/2011-03-22.html