By Marta Andreasen MEP
• The Council has decided to coordinate the economic policy of the nations of Europe. And I am sorry to see that George Osborne has agreed to this on behalf of the British people. Only recently It seemed that we were going to let Parliament in Westminister see the budget first before the European Commission saw it.
This new plan of the EU means the budget and economic policies of the member states will be monitored for six months every year from now on. This is really an attempt to reinvigorate the stability and growth pact. The SGP is something that today is more honoured in the breach than in the observance. It was meant to keep the countries of the euro from letting their deficits get out of hand and threatening the euro. Well it didn´t work. Some countries let their deficits explode and threatened the existence of the euro in the process.
Now the intention is that by monitoring all the draft budgets of the countries the year before they go into effect, action can be taken to make sure they stay within the prescribed limits, or will be shortly. The Council document has the interesting statement that member states “must” ensure that necessary procedures are in place. What I would like to know is how is the EU going to enforce this. In the past, nations should have obeyed the Stability and Growth Pact but if they did not action was to be taken against them. Germany and France breached the pact but the law was not applied. What is different this time? What sanctions will be applied to to get the countries to do what they must?