The EPP Group wants the planned European Monetary Fund (EMF) to be integrated into Union law. Non-Euro countries to participate also.
"The creation of a fully-fledged European Monetary Fund is the next necessary step to make the Euro ‘crisis proof’, also at budgetary level. We need to be able to assist Member States that are no longer in a position to finance themselves on the financial markets", said the EPP Group's Tom Vandenkendelaere MEP after today's vote in the joint Committees on Economic & Monetary Affairs and Budgets.
The EPP Group voted in favour of the transformation of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a Monetary Fund, but insists that budgetary discipline of the Member States remains paramount: "Neither the EU nor any other budgetary or fiscal tool can replace the responsibility of Member States at national level", said EPP Group MEP Siegfried Mureșan.
"The financial crisis pushed the EU towards the facts: the monetary union was far from finished. On the contrary, a deepening of the EMU was essential to protect the Eurozone from a subsequent crisis. The temporary predecessor of the EMF has done its job. The countries that have made use of it show better economic results today. Through the establishment of the EMF, this mechanism is now being embedded within the European construction", explained Vandenkendelaere. The EPP Group opposes attempts by some EU Member States to set up the EMF outside EU law as an intergovernmental institution only.
Strict requirements have to be respected when financial aid is provided by the EMF.
Aid given by the new fund must be subject to conditions. "The EMF will provide emergency loans, but in return, countries must undertake reform programmes. Strict requirements have to be respected when financial aid is provided by the EMF", Mureșan stressed.
EU countries which have not yet introduced the Euro as their currency should also be able to receive assistance from the fund. "In order to strengthen the convergence between Eurozone countries and those bound to join the Euro, the EPP Group has pushed for non-Euro countries that are not in the EU’s Exchange Rate Mechanism to be able to participate in the EMF", said Mureșan.
Vandenkendelaere and Mureșan are the EPP Group's negotiators of Parliament's position on the new fund. Today's vote pre-empts the discussions among Member States and sets a line on what the Parliament can accept. Parliament's consent is necessary to establish the fund.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States