June 28 - European Union leaders want agreement by the end of the year on a way to resolve failed banks at a European, rather than national level, despite German resistance to the idea. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION EU leaders want agreement by the end of the year on how to resolve failed banks at European level, despite German reluctance to do it ahead of a September election. German Chancellor Angela Merkel cast doubt on whether that timetable could be respected, saying the creation of a European authority with such powers would require a change to the EU treaty - a lengthy and politically risky process. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL SAYING: "Germany has made clear that under the current treaties, the Commission does not have the jurisdiction to run such a central authority or act as a resolution body. If we want new authorities then they must be linked to treaty changes." The European Commission believes no treaty change is necessary and floated the idea that it could itself take on the role of the resolution authority, to avoid the need to changes laws for the creation of a completely new body - an assertion rejected by Germany. French President Francois Hollande said at the end of an EU leaders' summit in Brussels that the banking union would be in place by mid 2014. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE SAYING: "If it appeared legally -- legally -- necessary to amend the treaty, we would do so, but it would only be from a legal perspective, and in no case from a political perspective. So if it appeared that in order for this Single Resolution Mechanism which is truly intervention, if there were that need, of course we would get to that step. But before we get there I think we must go as far as possible in the framework of existing treaties. Nothing must stop us at this point from going as fast as possible to be at the confirmation of banking union in the middle of 2014." France said work on the banking union should go as far as possible under existing treaties before considering any treaty change, but a treaty amendment could be done if necessary.