John Iannis Mourmouras: The EU (once again) at the crossroads - this time may be different?

Keynote speech by Professor John Iannis Mourmouras, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Greece, at the National Bank of Romania - OMFIF Economists Meeting entitled "The state of the euro area and conditions for accession: lessons from the past, tasks for the future", Bucharest, 22 May 2018.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
13 June 2018

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me first of all to thank the Governor of the National Bank of Romania, Mugur Isarescu, and the OMFIF Board of Directors for the kind invitation to deliver the keynote speech at today's National Bank of Romania-OMFIF Economists Meeting. It is a great pleasure and honour to be in Romania, a country in which the 1821 Greek Independence Revolution has its roots. Prominent Greeks originating from here helped to free Greece from four hundred years of Ottoman rule. Your country today hosts a vibrant Greek business community, which I will be addressing at the Greek-Romanian Chamber of Commerce at a dinner event tonight.

In its history of six decades, the EU has been faced with multiple crises; it came close to breaking point, but managed to overcome, for instance, the 'empty chair crisis', when De Gaulle refused to take part in Council meetings, the rejection of the Maastricht Treaty by the Danes or the Nice Treaty by the Irish. The solution then and now is to move continuously pedalling forward, for instance, with the adoption of the single currency, the enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe after the end of the Cold War, and the completion of EMU today.