BBC News – David Cameron defends decision to block EU-wide treaty

Having failed to reach an agreement of all 27 EU members, the 17 eurozone countries and the other EU states apart from the UK are expected to sign up to the new deal, which includes:

• a commitment to “balanced budgets” for eurozone countries- defined as a structural deficit no greater than 0.5% of gross domestic product – to be written into national constitutions

• automatic sanctions for any eurozone country whose deficit exceeds 3% of GDP

• a requirement to submit their national budgets to the European Commission, which will have the power to request that they be revised

Mr Cameron said the abandoned treaty change involving all 27 members had been in danger of “distorting the single market”.

“I think I did the right thing for Britain,” he said. “We were offered a treaty that didn’t have proper safeguards for Britain and I decided it was not right to sign that treaty.”

via BBC News – David Cameron defends decision to block EU-wide treaty.

EU Treaty Takes Shape –

[European Union] leaders, who are still deeply divided over key elements of their crisis strategy, decided they would move to form a pact among at least 23 of the members to tighten rules on national fiscal policy.

But details of the proposed treaty remained to be settled. The U.K. stood aside—after Prime Minister David Cameron failed with what officials said was a “shopping list of demands” designed among other things to protect national supervision of its banks—while Hungary, Sweden and the Czech Republic reserved their positions.

“We will achieve the new fiscal union. We will have a euro currency within a stable union,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the end of the meeting. “We will have stronger budget deficit regulations for euro-zone members.”

via EU Treaty Takes Shape –

Euro Zone Weighs Plan to Speed Fiscal Integration –

BERLIN—Euro-zone countries are weighing a new plan to accelerate the integration of their fiscal policies, people familiar with the matter said, as Europe’s leaders race to convince investors they can resolve the region’s debt crisis and keep the currency area from fracturing.

Under the proposed plan, national governments would seal bilateral agreements that wouldn’t take as long as a cumbersome change to European Union treaties, according to people familiar with the matter. …. The EU treaty allows countries to engage in “enhanced cooperation” if at least nine countries agree, circumventing the need for a unanimous treaty change among all 27 EU members.

via Euro Zone Weighs Plan to Speed Fiscal Integration –