Thursday, 20 June 1991
Dáil Éireann Debate
34. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance if he will outline his views on the estimates by the European Commission that the benefits to Europe arising from economic and monetary union will amount to £215 billion; and if he will further outline his views on whether sufficient Community powers now exist to ensure that all states will share proportionately in these benefits.
35. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance his views on whether the EC Structural Funds, as constituted at present, are sufficient an instrument to ensure a fair distribution, within and between member states, of the benefits of (a) the EC single market and (b) the proposed EC Economic and Monetary Union.
While the Structural Funds are making a contribution to achieving cohesion, they are not sufficient in themselves to ensure an equitable distribution among member states of the benefits of the completion of the internal market or of the moves towards economic and monetary union.
In their communication on Economic and Monetary Union of 21 August 1990, the Commission stated that “...an aggregate estimate of the impact of Economic and Monetary Union is not feasible ...”. Nevertheless, the Commission's overall assessment was that EMU would yield substantial net benefits to the Community.
Ireland accept that EMU will be of significant advantage to the Community as a whole. However, it is a matter of concern that these benefits may not be distributed equitably. The amendments to the Treaty provisions on economic and social cohesion which Ireland has tabled at the Inter-governmental Conferences on EMU and on Political Union are designed to reinforce and extend existing mechanisms with a view, inter alia, to ensuring such equity.
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