Basic democratic rights at risk in proposals to reform EMU
The Commission’s long-awaited proposals for the deepening of the EU’s Economic and Monetary Union has been met with concern and scepticism by GUE/NGL MEPs during the debate in Strasbourg this afternoon.
The erosion of democratic and workers’ rights in the proposals –under the guise of deeper economic integration within the eurozone – is deeply troubling for some MEPs.
All of these proposals form part of the Commission’s grand plans on the 'Future of Europe' white paper.
First to speak for GUE/NGL was Portuguese MEP Miguel Viegas who is adamant that dissolving the eurozone is the only way forward:
“In a moment when we need deep reflection about the role of the Economic and Monetary Union in this long process of economic and social divergence, this document proposes the intensification of all the factors that are at the roots of this divergence.”
“It is clear that the Eurozone is a political project to impose a neoliberal agenda. Therefore, what is needed is not its reinforcement, but its dissolution. We need a process that includes the return of monetary sovereignty to member states and the renegotiation of the rising public debt, which is intrinsically linked with the euro and its economic governance,” he concluded.
Greek MEP Dimitrios Papadimoulis also expressed concerns over democratic accountability:
“When and how will the democratic accountability of the Eurogroup be enhanced? For how long can we accept the Eurogroup taking decisions from behind closed doors?” he asked.
“I really hope that the Eurogroup meeting on the 15th of June – with the contribution of the Commission – will take a decision that will set the path for Greece to return to fair and stable growth.”
“This is not only a Greek goal, but also a European one,” he reinforced.
For Greek MEP Nikolaos Chountis, citizens’ basic democratic rights are non-negotiable in any future reforms:
“The so-called need to deepen the EMU is a call for more austerity, more wage cuts, more privatisation in water, energy and transport.”
“It means fewer rights for workers, more unemployment and insecurity,” he concluded.
GUE/NGL’s Rina Ronja Kari, Paloma López and Matt Carthy - all substitutes on the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs - also took part in the debate and you can find their interventions at these links: