"As a result, the EU Summit will likely produce re-hashed plans for closer fiscal integration and a banking union but without any substantive detail of how it will actually be put into practice."
Though many European citizens will be opposed to the idea of surrendering control over their budgets, their governments all agreed to abide by a 3 percent deficit limit when they joined the single currency.
After multiple violations of the limit — by Germany and France in the early 2000s, by a host of countries in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and by Greece the whole time — the 3 percent limit was reaffirmed in a new pact signed in January but not yet ratified. That pact also obliges eurozone countries to submit preliminary budgets to Brussels each year.
The latest plan published Tuesday was short on detail, but appeared to propose an even closer oversight of national budgets: "upper limits on the annual budget balance and on government debt levels of individual member states could be agreed in common," it said. Then, a "euro area level" authority could "require changes" to budgets of countries that stray.
At the end of the report, Van Rompuy volunteered to develop a "specific and time-bound roadmap for the achievement of the genuine economic and monetary union" by December.
Angela Charlton in Paris and Juergen Baetz in Berlin contributed to this story.
Don Melvin can be reached at —http://twitter.com/Don_Melvin