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14-06-2012

Economic Governance Package Explained

The next round of economic governance legislation must be geared more towards growth and new European Commission powers to vet Eurozone countries' budgets should be better democratically controlled, MEPs said on Wednesday when adopting Parliament's position on the so-called "two pack". The biggest changes to the Commission proposal are a new chapter on coordinating debt issuance, including the partial pooling of Eurozone debt, and legal protection for countries about to default.

In April 2011 the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee adopted the six proposals making up the economic governance package. Four of the proposals aim to strengthen the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and budgetary surveillance, while the remaining two focus on monitoring and controlling macro-economic imbalances within the EU.

Parliament adopted its position on the package in June last year, but held back from a final vote to allow negotiations with member states to continue in the hope of reaching an agreement by the July plenary. That proved to be impossible until mid-September when negotiators finally came up with a deal, which then went to the whole EP.

Our feature outlines the key issues and stages of the package.

In the first section you will find the press release following the final vote in plenary, we also have an interview with the economic committee chair Sharon Bowles and explanations about the package from the MEPs responsible for guiding the six proposals through the EP.

A common timeframe for discussing for Eurozone member budgets and offering troubled countries a version of corporate bankruptcy protection rules are in the pipeline for 2012 and on February 28 Parliament started discussing the relevant proposals from the Commission