The IMF in the Eurozone – Interview with Professor Jean Pisani-Ferry

Jun 25th, 2010 | Category: Interviews

Jean Pisani-Ferry, (Prof.), BRUEGEL

June 11 2010

ELIAMEP: Professor Pisani-Ferry, thank you for giving us this interview. You have co-organised together with ELIAMEP the conference on Economic governance in the eurozone and the EU, being the director of BRUEGEL. How do you see the role of the IMF in the eurozone? There has been significant public concern about its presence. Do you consider this a challenging development for the euro and the political aspirations for further economic and political integration?

Jean Pisani-Ferry: What is challenging is that there was a need to call the IMF, not the fact that the IMF is involved. I was early on in favor of involving the IMF because I think the management of crises is something that requires specific expertise and people experienced with dealing with crises. We don’t have this expertise and experience in the EU, certainly not in the Commission because is not the job of the Commission. So, when you are in a very severe crisis where you have the threat of collapse you don’t want to improvise to learn how to manage crisis. That is why it is good to have the IMF involved. Furthermore, there were no clear legal provisions, this was not part of the Treaty, so it was good in this respect, to build on the experience of what has been done with Latvia, with Romania, a joint EU-IMF involvement. Finally, each and every member of the euroarea remains a member of the IMF; it is entitled to go to the IMF and request assistance. So, it would have been strange to prevent countries with the right to go to the IMF from seeking IMF assistance.

ELIAMEP: Thank you very much