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13-01-2014

Inquiry: how Parliament will evaluate the impact of Troika measures

The Troika carefully monitors if bailout countries carry out the reforms that have been asked for, but it is now time for it be scrutinised in turn. As there have been many concerns over how the Troika operates, the Parliament is conducting an inquiry. An EP delegation will visit the countries affected, while there are also hearings in the Parliament with people who have been involved with Troika decisions.

The inquiry is headed by Othmar Karas, an Austrian member of the EPP group, and Liem Hoang Ngoc, a French member of the S&D group. Although it is being led by the economic committee, there will also be contributions from the budgetary control, employment and constitutional affairs committees.

An EP delegation visited Portugal on 6-7 January and Cyprus on 10 January, while visits have also been planned to Ireland on 16-17 January and Greece on 29-30 January. The visits include meetings with ministers, parliamentarians and representatives of civil society.

Mr Karras, a vice-president of the Parliament, insisted that decisions on the aid programmes require democratic legitimacy: "The EU Parliament must co-decide on common European decisions. It is not sufficient to say national governments are democratically legitimised and that is why we do not need the EU Parliament any more. This would mean turning the clocks in Europe back by decades."

Mr Hoang Ngoc said: "This enquiry has been set up to provide answers to all of those whose life have been affected by the Troika. Nearly four years on since the Troika was first established in Greece, there is a need to assess in a transparent and democratic way whether it was the best course of action, both in terms of methods and policies."

The economic committee will organise hearing in the third week of January so that members can question current and former policy makers involved with the Troika. Olli Rehn, economic and monetary affairs commissioner, will appear on Monday 13 January; Jean-Claude Trichet, former president of the European Central Bank on Tuesday 14 January; and Klaus Regling, director of the European Stability Mechanism on Wednesday 15 January. After that the committee will consider the draft report on Thursday 16 January.

A questionnaire has also been sent to the institutions and governments involved with the bailout programmes.

The evaluation of the Troika will continue the coming months and MEPs are expected to vote on the inquiry's final report during the March plenary.