Origin of the Kangaroo Group

After the first direct elections in June 1979, there existed two distinct streams of thought within the European Parliament on how best to develop the European Community. MEPs like Rudolf Luster, Gero Pfennig and Jochen van Aerssen (all PPE/CDU) were of the opinion that the time had come to put forward a proposal for a European Constitution. In response to this, Mr. Spinelli gathered together MEPs from different political sides to form a group whose aim was to make the European Parliament into a constitutional body. They called themselves the "Crocodile Club" after the restaurant in Strasbourg where they first met.

At around the same time; another group of MEPs was forming which felt that the Community should first regain its capacity to act before turning towards major new goals. They argued that it was essential to prove that the Community was still able, even in the changed environment of the 1980‘s, to realise projects which the vast majority of its citizens would consider advantageous. What was needed was the abolition of border controls between the Member States and of trade obstacles within the so-called Common Market. This group was made up of Karl von Wogau and Basil de Ferranti .

Basil de Ferranti was appointed to the Parliament‘s Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee who in turn set up a sub-Committee to deal specifically with the Internal Market. It was this Committee that toured the European Community capitals to persuade ministers of the need for the Internal Market. During one such visit, having talked to an Italian Minister who was totally supportive, Basil de Ferranti then met his civil servant who said: "it doesn‘t matter what the minister says -- I make the proposals!"

Following these visits, a number of those taking part met to decide what action they could take in the European Parliament to raise the awareness of its members to the importance of the market. Thus the "unofficial Kangaroo Group" was born. The members were Basil de Ferranti, Karl von Wogau, Kai Nyborg and Dieter Rogalla, sharing a particular interest in the free movement of people. This early membership represented three different countries and differing political views: this has been the characteristic of the Group ever since.

The name was chosen at an early meeting of the Group when Dieter Rogalla, who had been to Australia, was wearing a kangaroo badge. The kangaroo seemed to be a particularly appropriate symbol because of its peaceful nature and ability to take great leaps forward with an empty pouch over any boundaries.

The path taken to come to the completion of the Internal Market was a long and difficult one and will not be completed until a monetary and economic union is realised in all Member States. This will remain one of the goals of the Kangaroo Group. Recently we discovered in an Australian encyclopaedia a species of kangaroo called "Euros" -- Will this ultimately prove to be a good omen?

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Next Events

9th Strasbourg Lunch

Wednesday, 23 October 2019 at 13.15 hrs


“Working towards the UN Sustainable-Development Goals – the way forward for the EU”


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Wednesday, 6 November 2019 from 8:00 to 9:30 hrs


“What to expect on Cross-Sectoral Cyber Resilience in the first 100 days?”



Olivier NAUTET, BNPP, Head of IT Risk Management

Sabrina FENG, Chief Technology Risk Officer, London Stock Exchange Group 



David DOYLE, Member of the Board, Kangaroo Group 

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Recent Publications

The City could find it cold in “Canada”


Discussion paper from Kangaroo Group Member Graham Bishop


New Year media reports suggest the UK Government thinks the EU27 is bluffing when chief negotiator Barnier states that UK-based banks will lose their “passports” to do business in the EU27. Instead, DexEU Secretary Davis has called for a “Canada plus plus plus” trade deal – implying that financial services will not find themselves at a disadvantage.

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Euro “clearing”: Liability and Location 

Discussion paper from Kangaroo Group Member Graham Bishop

"The key interest rate contracts cleared in the UK are more than 50 times UK GDP, and 10 times the Eurozone’s GDP. Put starkly: €117 trillion of euro derivatives may have to be supported by liquidity based on the ECB’s €0.011 trillion capital and that of National Central Banks."

read whole artice below

Euro “clearing”: Liability and Location

16 January 2017

This issue of `clearing’ is likely to come to a head quickly once Article 50 Notice of `intention to leave’ is served by the UK - as a direct consequence of the G20 commitment to ensure there are no more taxpayer-funded bailouts of EU financial institutions. Post Brexit, Eurozone Member States are likely to be very concerned about capital market activities denominated in euro that – in a crisis – could create liabilities for their taxpayers. At that stage, UK-based financial firms will not be subject to EU law and therefore outside the ECB’s ability to enforce any necessary managerial change – unless the UK agrees to surrender control to EU institutions. 

However, it is very disturbing to an outsider that, eight years after the Lehman crash, there are still good grounds for concern in a systemic crisis– especially flowing from the “clearing” of euro:

ESMA 2016 stress test “A CM defaulting in one CCP would also be considered to be in default in all CCPs, in which it is a member, leading to more than 25 CM defaulting EU-wide…” 

The Commission’s December 2016 CCP Resolution Proposal “No Member State has yet developed a full national regime for CCP recovery and resolution which fully complies with the G20-endorsed FSB principles, including as regards the need for effective coordination and oversight against cross-border spill-overs.”

The magnitude of the risks are extraordinary: The key interest rate contracts cleared in the UK are more than 50 times UK GDP, and 10 times the Eurozone’s GDP. Put starkly: €117 trillion of euro derivatives may have to be supported by liquidity based on the ECB’s €0.011 trillion capital and that of National Central Banks. Any resultant credit losses would be a major political concern for Eurozone taxpayers, governments and Parliaments.

Does the EU27/ECB need to “do” anything further about Brexit? The ECB’s post-Brexit re-statement of its “oversight policy” provides a powerful analysis – implicitly - of the post-Brexit situation when it would have no powers to “induce change” in critical offshore financial market infrastructures. Once the Article 50 Notice has been served, all UK firms will be fully aware that their “EEA Authorisation” will expire at the moment of Brexit so they will need to make their own plans to continue their EU business.

The working assumption must be that the UK will not be a part of the European Economic Area (EEA) so any bespoke arrangement (normally taking the form of a Treaty) may require significant adjustment to many EU Directives and Regulations. The much-discussed “transitional arrangements” for UK firms might not be “in force” before 2023, given the necessary legislative processes. As risk-averse clients recognise the new risks, they may exercise their freedom to move their derivative positions to CCPs in a market where they can have a high degree of confidence that the ECB would supply liquidity in a crisis.

A major loss of derivatives business could worsen the UK’s balance of payments deficit by a third from its current record deficit - even at modest profitability levels for the derivative book. Parliament should require the BoE to analyse and publish the balance of payments implications in detail.

Original Text by Graham Bishop
Euro clearing 550 word article_FINAL.pdf
PDF-Dokument [108.8 KB]

Eurocorps as a pilot project for the European Defence Union


Discussion Paper on the basis of a meeting of the Kangaroo Group with General Ramirez


The decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union makes it necessary to rethink the European Union from the beginning. We have to ask ourselves what the citizens really expect from the European Union. In the past seventy years the European Union has made a major contribution to the security and prosperity of the European nations.

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Future of the Eurocorps


At a meeting with members of the Eurocorps in Strasbourg Karl von Wogau, Secretary General of the Kangaroo Group and Honorary Member of the European Parliament, stated that the Eurocorps should be moved into the center of the Common Security and Defence Policy. It should become the Preferred Headquarter of the European Union. Moreover its five framework nations France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg should take the decision to put the Eurocorps at the permanent disposal of the European Union.

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In the present discussion about Monetary and Political Union the opinion is often heard that a Political Union consists in total harmonization. But this is certainly not what we want to achive. The strength of Europe is its variety and the peaceful competition between its Member States. On the contrary the hard core of a Political Union is a common foreign and defence policy.  ...


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The Role of the Multinational Corps


The European Council in June has not been very encouraging for those who believe in the necessity of an autonomous Security and Defence Policy of the European Union. Public attention was taken by the problems of Greece and the drama of the refugees in the Mediterranean. The discussion about Security and Defence took only a very short time.

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Europe War and Peace


The author looks at general rules for peace preservation from Kant, Fukuyama, Einstein and Freud as well as Henry Kissinger and tries to draw conclusions for the present security situation of Europe. The presentation was in October 2015.

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