Analysis: In banking reform, Europe zig-zags but still moves forward

The European Union does not draw straight lines. Last week’s tortuous agreement on a common system for shutting failed banks exemplifies the awkward, often unstable compromises by which Europe advances. Banking union is the biggest leap forward in EU integration since the launch of the euro single currency in 1999, and one of its main architects wasted no time in trumpeting the momentous landmark. “I want to underline the speed and the magnitude of this achievement,” European Council President Herman Van Rompuy boasted after the deal among finance ministers.


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