Europe should not go down the path of unsustainable debt and uncontrolled spending again, but focus on competitiveness and investment which will enhance jobs and growth. This is the main message that the EPP Group underlines in the Report on the review of the Economic Governance Framework adopted this afternoon in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.
For the EPP Group, a credible economic governance framework is based on sound rules and their compliance and enforcement. "The latter has not been the case in previous years", said Esther de Lange MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of EPP Group and Shadow Rapporteur of the Report.
While some political groups wished to completely discard the current legislative framework, the EPP Group believes that it has generally worked well and now needs to be implemented in an adequate way and where necessary, streamlined and improved. The common text, negotiated between the S&D and EPP Groups, now clearly states that the economic governance rules that were developed in the crisis years have helped to get almost all countries back on track. "Nobody said getting out of the crisis would be easy, but it is clear that we can see positive results from applying the rules. Unemployment is going down, budgets are becoming healthier, and banks are on a stronger footing than before. Structural reforms and sustainable finances are the precondition for lasting economic growth everywhere in Europe", she said.
While the legislation in place seems to have worked well, the overall architecture of the Monetary Union clearly remains unfinished. The EPP Group wants more transparency, more political debate, more democratic legitimacy and better involvement of national parliaments on the main lines of the economic governance of the Eurozone.
De Lange concluded: "The long-term objectives of the Eurozone - laid down in the so-called Convergence Guidelines - should be the subject of a plenary debate on the basis of an Ordinary Legislative Procedure at the beginning of the European Commission’s mandate. It is also clear that some intergovernmental elements of the Economic Governance Framework, like the Fiscal Compact, will have to be integrated into the Treaty. This should also allow for challenges before the EU Court of Justice, thereby increasing the legitimacy and independence of economic policy and ensuring that all countries, big and small, are treated equally."
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 218 Members from 27 Member States