New Hanseatic League
The New Hanseatic League, or the Hansa, was established in February 2018 by European Union finance ministers from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden through the signing of a two-page foundational document which set out the countries' "shared views and values in the discussion on the architecture of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union (EMU)." The name is derived from the Hanseatic League, a Northern European commercial and defensive league which lasted until the 16th century.
New Hanseatic League
Map of Europe with the members of the New Hanseatic League in blue
|1,075,220 km2 (415,140 sq mi)|
• 2017 estimate
The New Hanseatic League developed from an informal cooperation among like-minded fiscally conservative northern European states that has also been referred to at various points as 'The Vikings', and the 'Bad Weather coalition'. The grouping sees clubbing together as a way to make up for the loss of the like-minded Britain in the European political arena after Brexit. The countries involved want a more developed European single market, particularly in the services sector (i.e. a so-called 'Capital Markets Union'). They also want to develop the European Stability Mechanism into a full European Monetary Fund that would redistribute wealth from trade surplus to trade deficit EU member states.
In a speech delivered in the Netherlands, Ireland's Tánaiste (deputy head of government) Simon Coveney suggested cooperation among the countries in the alliance could extend to foreign policy as well, such as the Middle East peace process and the EU's relations with Africa. Some have expressed fears the New Hanseatic League could exacerbate existing north-south political divides in Europe by grouping northern European countries too closely.
In November 2018, the group called for the European Stability Mechanism to be given a greater role in scrutinising national budgets. Under the plan, formal tests of a government’s debt sustainability and ability to repay would be carried out before aid could be provided. The call came after the European Commission's rejection of Italy's 2019 budget, and was signed by ten countries, including the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
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- "Speech by Tánaiste Simon Coveney T.D. at The Hague, The Netherlands". Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
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