Thursday, 23 June 2011

Economic governance debate: ideological differences and a need for real change

MEPs from all parts of the spectrum also called on Member States to not shy away from decision-making systems which would end political back-scratching, this being the only way to achieve a truly revamped governance system.

The six MEPs responsible for shepherding the package through Parliament took the floor at the start of the debate.

According to Corien Wortmann-Kool (EPP, NL), "We need credible decision-making procedures for the new rules to work. If Member States do not undertake effective reforms we need to have measures which will truly kick in."

Diogo Feio (EPP, PT) argued "The new rules will place more attention on indebtedness and not only deficits. We will also be able to have an efficient system to reduce the debt which has piled up. Member States with their finances in shape see their economies grow."

In the view of Elisa Ferreira (S&D, PT), "This package is not the response which the EU needs because it does not alter the excessive focus on austerity. On the other hand we have new tools to correct imbalances before they become real problems and that is to be welcomed."

Sylvie Goulard (ALDE, FR) maintained "We are pushing for discipline not for discipline's sake but to protect the Euro. Markets will not buy an agreement just because it is concluded quickly. They do not want superficial solutions. And the ECB is also backing our ambition."

According to Carl Haglund (ALDE, FI), "We are at a crossroads to change our past. We need automatic procedures because the last years have shown that when decisions were needed, they were not taken."

Vicky Ford (ECR, UK) believed that "Bad budget planning has contributed to the crisis we are in. The new standards we will have for drawing up national budgets will instil the necessary discipline."

Philippe Lamberts (Greens/EFA, BE), shadow rapporteur for his group on all texts of the package, contended that "We do need fiscal discipline but also discipline to invest. The new rules being tabled are only about austerity. Citizens will prove us right in the election booths of France in 2012 and Germany in 2013."

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