When the European Council meets Thursday and Friday, one document for discussion will be the European Commission's new plan for the future of monetary union. Many of the ideas are not so much innovative as useful. Others look difficult to enforce. Most importantly, the reform plan will remain yet another meaningless document until euro zone heads of governments actually spell out what they want.
The "Roadmap for deepening Europe's Economic and Monetary Union" which was published last week follows a string of reports in the last couple of years, each loftier than the previous in its goals. The trouble: They have largely remained on paper. The euro zone adopted significant institutional reforms at the height of the sovereign debt crisis, including initiating a banking union. However, their completion has proven elusive, mainly because of political resistances coming from member states.