After several months of enquiry, the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) will vote tonight on a report on the role and operations of the Troika (ECB, Commission and IMF) with regard to the euro area programme countries.
After several months of enquiry, the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) will vote tonight on a report on the role and operations of the Troika (ECB, Commission and IMF) with regard to the euro area programme countries. ALDE believes that the Troika is very far from being a perfect structure but it is too easy and wrong to blame the European Union alone for adverse effects in Member States’ macroeconomic adjustments and which only fuels euro-sceptic sentiment.
ALDE coordinator in ECON Sylvie Goulard (Modem, France) says: ”The functioning of the Troika has confirmed how important it is to respect democratic legitimacy and accountability. So far the European Union has been wrongly condemned for the actions undertaken by the Troika, which, in reality, has been obliged to compensate for the consequences of past inadequate national policies. The ultimate responsibility lies with the Eurogroup and the situation has shown that it is not the appropriate structure to lead economic reforms in the Member States”.
The report clearly explains that the Commission, when operating within the Troika framework, is putting in place a macroeconomic adjustment programme designed and approved by the Eurogroup. The text also deplores the too frequently applied one-size fits all approach that does not take into account the social impact of the prescribed policy measures and calls for tailor-made reforms. In this respect the report also asks the European Commission to set up a ”growth task force” for each programme country.
”The Troika came about under very unusual circumstances when Europe faced the risk of financial collaps. In the future we must ensure that necessary reform programmes can be carried out by a Troika responsible to the democratic structures. That can be done only by establishing clear, transparent and binding rules of procedure, guaranteeing parliamentary scrutiny and democratic legitimacy and accountability”, says ALDE spokesperson on the report Nils Torvalds (Swedish People’s Party, Finland).
The report lists a number of recommendations, both in the short and long term, aiming at clarifying the roles and the tasks of each participant of the Troika. Furthermore, the Eurogroup, the Council and the European Council are called to assume full responsibility for the Troika’s operations. The President of the Eurogroup must be accountable to the European Parliament, as well as the EU finance ministers before their respective parliaments, before a financial assistance is granted. The ECB, in line with its mandate, should participate as a silent observer during the negotiation process. The ESM, as intergovernmental body, should evolve into a Community-based mechanism to become accountable to the European Parliament in order to be able to undertake long term scrutiny of on-going reforms. The IMF should be a marginal lender, able to leave the programme if in disagreement.