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Bowles hails 'six pack' ahead of crucial vote

Wednesday 28 September 2011 - by Andrew Hickley


The chair of the European Parliament's economics committee has hailed the EU's revised 'six pack' of governance measures as the first step in building long-term solutions to deal with the eurozone crisis.

Speaking ahead of a parliament vote on the package on Wednesday, Sharon Bowles declared that the measures will show the world that Europe is making solid moves to address flaws in national fiscal policies.

The package will bring more automaticity into the process of applying sanctions for eurozone member states that run excessive budget deficits.

Among the measures - which come in the shape of five regulations and a directive - are reforms toughening up the EU's governing stability and growth pact. The surveillance of macroeconomic imbalances will be tightened with the European Commission's powers increased, ensuring it can ask for more information about national budgets through spot checks on member states.

Commenting on the proposals, Economic and Monetary Affairs committee chairman Bowles said: "With the eurozone problems now threatening a full blown global crisis similar to that following the collapse of Lehman's, this is a welcome step to show the world that the EU is making solid moves to address flaws in fiscal policy.


"Without this first step, any hope of building the long-term solutions for the eurozone would have been lost."

Wednesday's plenary session vote is expected to approve the package. It has support from the parliament's largest party, the European People's Party, and Bowles' group, the third largest in the assembly, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

"There is still a long way to go and it is easy to sit on the sidelines and cast gloom and doom over the future of the euro but passing this legislation today is the first signal that European politicians are at last grasping the nettle and taking responsibility for difficult decisions," Bowles added.

Commission president José Manuel Barroso last week expressed his delight after a meeting between parliament, council and commission officials finally agreed on the measures.

If the package is approved at the Strasbourg plenary session, it will be ratified by EU finance ministers on 4 October.

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Email: andrew.hickley@gfsnews.com




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