Inquiry: how Parliament evaluated the impact of Troika measures 


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Othmar Karas (left) and Liem Hoang Ngoc © European Union 2014/European Parliament/Bruno Portela 

The Troika monitors if bailout countries carry out the reforms that have been asked for, but it has now been scrutinised in turn. As there have been many concerns over how the Troika operates, the Parliament conducted an inquiry, including visits to the countries involved and hearings with people who have been involved with Troika decisions. Two own-initiative reports were adopted during the March plenary.

The inquiry by the economic committee into the Troika's working methods was headed by Othmar Karas, an Austrian member of the EPP group, and Liem Hoang Ngoc, a French member of the S&D group. Meanwhile Alejandro Cercas, a Spanish member of the S&D group, wrote a report on the social impact of Troika policies on behalf of the employment committee.

The report by the economic committee acknowledges the challenges the Troika faced and the results it achieved in a critical situation. However it also underlines the internal problems that the Troika set-up has had. The three institutions involved - the European Commission, International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank (ECB) - do not have equal responsibility and their decision-making structures came with different levels of accountability, said the report.

The system is also criticised for failing to adapt the measures it imposed to the particular circumstances of each country. In addition the report proposes better solutions for the future.

According to the report by the employment committee, the four countries involved - Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus - need a recovery plan for jobs and soecial security.

Report author Cercas said the adjustment programmes should not undermine collective agreements signed by the social partners, cut or freeze minimum wages and pension systems, putting them below the poverty threshold, or make it harder to access basic medical and pharmaceutical products or affordable housing.

To better research the situation, an EP delegation visited Portugal on 6-7 January, Cyprus on 10 January, Ireland on 16-17 January and Greece on 29-30 January.

The Parliament also held hearing, questioning not only the people involved with Troika decisions, but also for example Olli Rehn, economic and monetary affairs commissioner, and Jean-Claude Trichet, former head of the European Central Bank.

To find out more about the hearings, click on the links on the right.

  • is composed of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 
  • negotiates between the official lenders and the bailout countries 
  • reviews how the agreed measures are carried out in the bailout countries 
  • In Europe the finance ministers of eurozone countries take the final decisions on financial aid and conditions  
  • The money comes come from bilateral loans from the eurozone countries and the IMF