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Coeure Says Greater Budget Integration Needed for Euro Bonds

European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said euro-area governments need more integration to pave the way for jointly sold bonds.

“Budget responsibility is essential,” Coeure said today at a conference near Paris. “More solidarity but also more mutual control of member states” is necessary and “that will allow one day to issue euro bonds,” he said.

The remarks to French business leaders emphasize the ECB’s long-term vision for the euro and the tasks facing governments as they seek to end a financial crisis that has weighed on the region’s economy for almost three years. In the short term, the Frankfurt-based central bank is working on a bond-buying program that will only be implemented to help governments under “strict” conditions, Coeure said.

“The ECB will do everything possible within its mandate to preserve the integrity of the euro,” Coeure said.

The need to end the crisis is urgent because the integration of Europe’s capital markets that occurred over years has begun to reverse, he said.

“Money isn’t flowing any more from Helsinki, from Munich to Milan” as markets are fragmenting, he said. “Today we have the euro but no more a single capital market.”

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