EU countries need to do more to put their EU economic policy reform pledges into effect at home, especially in the euro area, urged Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Monday. Noting that only 10% of the European Commission's country-specific reform recommendations (CSRs) for 2013 were implemented in full and that little or no progress was made on 45% of them, MEPs also pressed the Commission and the Eurogroup President to see that they are put into practice.
"The priorities of the Italian Council Presidency were outlined to the various parliamentary committees by Italian ministers in a series of meetings held in July and September."
Economic recovery is losing momentum; European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Monday, citing slowing growth in the second quarter and less than encouraging economic indicators in the summer. "The weak credit curb, high unemployment, political and geopolitical tensions could work against the necessary confidence the ECB is trying to build", he explained.
Fiscal measures, such as shifting taxation away from labour, should play a bigger role in combating the crisis, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem told Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Thursday. But flexibility in implementing the Stability and Growth Pact pact is also needed, because this pact is “the anchor for confidence and it would be self-defeating to break it", he underlined.
The Governing Council of the ECB met on Thursday and decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.15%, 0.40% and -0.10% respectively. Please find below the reaction of the chairman of Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT):
Four candidate EU Commissioners, nominated to replace those who left to become MEPs, were given committee hearings on Monday. The four, who if confirmed by the full House will serve for the rest of the Commission’s current term, are Jyrki Katainen (Finland), Ferdinando Nelli Feroci (Italy) Martine Reicherts (Luxembourg) and Jacek Dominik (Poland).
The way out of debt is through growth, not spending; European Central Bank President Margo Draghi told Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Monday evening, in the first Monetary Dialogue session since the European elections. The ECB will support lending to the real economy and lower taxes provided they are accompanied by structural reforms and efforts to complete the EU single market, he added.
After the election of a President, Vice-Presidents and Quaestors of the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week, parliamentary committees convened on Monday in Brussels to elect chairpersons and their deputies for next two and a half years.