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Economic and Monetary Union Package

EESC opinion: Economic and Monetary Union Package

Key points:

The EESC

  • appreciates the proposed roadmap for completing EMU, but its support is not full and enthusiastic since a number of social, political and economic issues, highlighted in our previous opinions, were not taken into consideration;
  • underlines that the principles of responsibility and solidarity at EU level should go hand in hand;
  • is disappointed that the EESC and the CoR are omitted from the communication and that the role of the European Parliament remains rather limited;
  • highlights the need to develop new financial instruments for crisis prevention and countering pro-cyclical measures;
  • highlights that the completion of the Banking Union and of the Capital Markets Union, as well as addressing the problem of non-performing loans, should remain top priority on the agenda;
  • fully supports the proposed task of the new European Monetary Fund (EMF) to provide a common backstop for the Single Resolution Fund, but highlights that this measure should not act like a golden parachute, encouraging banks to take unnecessary risks;
  • believes that the EMF should have a more active role in the EU context, like the International Monetary Fund internationally: supporting economic development and absorbing shocks, not just preventing bank crises;
  • believes that the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG) should be incorporated into EU law together with the transformation of the ESM into the EMF, without cherry-picking opportunities for the Member States;
  • considers that the flexible interpretation given to the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) is not enough and recommends that discussions be opened at EU level on excluding value-adding strategic public investment from the scope of application of the SGP;
  • fully supports the proposal to introduce a dedicated convergence facility for the Member States on their way to joining the euro;
  • considers that to reduce the existing divergence among EU economies, the macroeconomic stabilisation function is particularly important as Member States are less and less able to act independently due to EMU constraints;
  • supports the creation of a Minister of Economy and Finance for EMU as a first step to enhancing the coherence of policies that are currently fragmented, but calls for further reflection and enhancement of the democratic accountability of the proposed minister.