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Gabi Zimmer on the Commission and Council´s approach to reforming the EMU

President of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament, Gabi Zimmer, commented: “The Commission and Council`s approach to reforming the EMU is a blow against European democracy and, in fact, does not provide concrete solutions to the current economic crisis.”

“Instead of starting the reform process with the full involvement of the European Parliament in setting the new legislative measures and scrutinising their implementation, the only democratically elected institution in the EU will be set aside with no influence at all.

“Moreover, new non-elected 'National Competitiveness Boards' will be put in place with the aim to interfere in autonomous collective bargaining.

“We fight for a socially integrated EU with democratic legitimacy, transparency and accountability,” Zimmer added.

The initiatives announced last week by the European Commission for the completion of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and the euro completely ignore the European Parliament in the process of the European Semester reform, the reorganisation of the economic governance instruments and the single representation of the Eurozone by the President of the Eurogroup.

In particular, the European Parliament's assent is not required in the process of adopting the European Commission's legislative initiatives, while at the same time its role in the European Semester is becoming more difficult. Even the Parliament's consultative role in the appointment of the European Fiscal Council has been restricted.

Moreover, concrete measures for strengthening economic convergence and the inclusion of social indicators in the planning are missing.

The European Parliament`s main political groups expressed harsh criticism of this in a letter by President Schulz to the European Commission, calling for a revision of the legislative initiatives for the completion of the EMU.

At the same time, an important initiative taken by Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, with the full support and close collaboration of the GUE/NGL group, is likely to result in an agreement between the political groups in the European Parliament and the Commission. The main aim of this proposed agreement is to involve the European Parliament in the monitoring of the implementation of the third Greek programme. The representative of the European Commission to the Euro Group is also requested to regularly inform the European Parliament on all consultations and negotiations.

Gabi Zimmer added: “The greater involvement of the European Parliament in scrutinising the implementation of the third Greek programme will be a small but important step forward. At least the democratically elected body of the EU will gain insight into the way the 'quadriga' operates. In this way, hopefully we will be able to prevent further breaches of EU law and human rights, in areas such as the right to access healthcare and the right to collective bargaining.”

 

GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20