Volker Wieland and Helmut Siekmann call for reforms of the EU and the euro area after Brexit

In guest editorials and interviews Volker Wieland and Helmut Siekmann have opted for reforms in the EU and especially in the euro area and appeal to the member states to play by the existing rules.

Economically, a Brexit would be manageable for the EU and Great Britain, as Wieland points out in a guest editorial on the ntv.de website. However, in his view, the British vote for “Leave” should be considered a wake-up call in order to make the EU more attractive again and to take the desire for a greater degree of self-determination on national level seriously.

According to Wieland, it is particularly important to make the currency union stable. “For example, the close ties between banks and states should be cut by abolishing the privilege of government bonds in banking regulation. This way, ailing banks are no longer able to take states, whose bonds they may hold, down with them. The no bail-out clause should be strengthened as well: member states should not be responsible for other member states’ liabilities. Governments having to finance themselves in the market pay more attention to sustainable financial policies.”

In an editorial with three co-authors of the German Council of Economic Experts, Wieland supports  jount action in security, asylum and climate policy. However, in issues like fiscal policy, labor market policy and social policy, where the citizens have divergent views and do not want to give up their national sovereignty, the member states should assume more responsibility again. Furthermore, the no-bailout clause should be strengthened by a sovereign insolvency mechanism, the authors write.

In the opinion of Helmut Siekmann, there is “room for self-criticism and improvements” as he explains in detail in a guest editorial in “Börsen-Zeitung”. For him, it is appropriate “to openly – and if need be controversially – discuss the possible nature of a future federal state on the European level”. He also considers important the extensive autonomy of the countries and regions as well as the “clever and principle-oriented order of “federal” fiscal relations (“financial compensation”) in a reformed European Union”.

According to Siekmann, the tasks of the European Central Bank should also be included: “A return of the activities of the European Central Bank, which only has very little democratic legitimaton, to monetary policy in a narrow sense, would deprive anti-integrationist efforts of a significant part of their effectiveness.”


Volker Wieland mit Lars P. Feld, Christoph M. Schmidt und Isabel Schnabel, Sachverständigenrat: "Einheit in Vielfalt: Wie es mit Europa weitergehen kann" ("Ökonomenstimme", "Die Zeit")

Volker Wieland: "Brexit-Votum ist ein Auftrag an die EU" ("ntv.de")

Helmut Siekman: "Wie ein europäischer Bundesstaat aussehen könnte" ("Börsen-Zeitung")