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Cameron’s Fear of Discrimination : his Fourth Package of Demands.

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For more than 50 years, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs has provided analysis on foreign policy issues not only to the Bundestag and the German Federal Government, but also to economic actors and the general public.

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Core Europe and the United Kingdom / Risks, Opportunities and Side-effects of the British Reform Proposals. 01/2016






The relationship between the Eurozone and non-euro states in the internal Market is an area whose technical nature means it plays only a minor role for British public opinion – but it is of exceptional importance to the British government.

In essence, with the fourth package of demands, London wants to avoid any potential negative effects of staying out of the Eurozone.

The Eurozone has deepened in the course of the European debt crisis since 2010 and further integration steps are under discussion. Unlike Denmark, Poland or Sweden, Britain has participated in none of these integration steps.

At the same time, with the City of London, it is home to the EU’s largest financial centre, where euros are traded in greater volumes than in Frankfurt or Paris. In the fourth area of the negotiations, it is above all the financial centre that Cameron wishes to protect.

First of all, London wants to protect its businesses from discrimination by the Eurozone. Cameron is calling for a ban on discrimination and greater transparency in Eurozone decision-making.

From the European perspective this concern should be regarded as legitimate. The general instrument for differentiated integration, enhanced cooperation, already stipulates that decisions made under its scope, such as the financial market transaction tax, must have no discriminatory effect in the internal market.

But Cameron is also demanding that the Union formally confirms that it has more than one currency : “a multi-currency Union”.

Presently the euro is treated as the currency of the Union, from which certain member-states are exempted either permanently (United Kingdom, Denmark) or temporarily (for example Poland, Hungary, Sweden). But apart from Britain and Denmark, all the other member-states are legally required to introduce the euro in the course of time.

An explicit recognition of a multi-currency Union would – like abolishing the objective of an ever closer Union – cement a permanent division between Eurozone and non-euro states.