‘Two pack’: MEPs warned amendments may be too far-reaching
By Sarah Collins | Tuesday 10 July 2012
MEPs wishing to transform twin proposals on budgetary surveillance were warned, on 10 July, that their amendments to the texts - know as the ‘two pack’ on economic governance - might be too far-reaching to make it through negotiations with the Commission and Council. Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told the member states’ finance ministers, on 10 July, that MEPs’ demands “focus on broader issues while the focus of these two proposals is on budgetary coordination and on the delivery of better ex ante coordination of significant economic reforms”.
MEPs sealed their amendments to the two draft regulations - COM(2011)819 and 821 - in a plenary vote, on 13 June. They are seeking to introduce special legal protection for defaulting states and set up a redemption fund that would part-mutualise government debt to help weaker economies regain access to financial markets at lower interest rates. “Further mutualisation of economic risk can only be moved forward on the condition that there is in parallel further deepening of economic integration,” Rehn said. “Many of the amendments of the European Parliament refer to the forthcoming road map on EMU reform by the four presidents,” Rehn said, referring to a report drawn up by the heads of the European Commission, Council, Central Bank and Eurogroup and published at the end of June.
Talks between the three institutions are to begin on 11 July. The Council sealed its position in February, when it stuck close to the Commission’s original proposals to step up surveillance for deficit or financially stressed states. Cypriot Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly said, on 10 June after a ministers’ meeting, that many of the MEPs’ proposals - including the debt redemption fund - “raise fundamental legal questions”.