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 Troika's work has been investigated by the Parliament since December and it is now time to draw conclusions. On Thursday 13 March MEPs vote on the two own-initiative reports, which they debated the day before. We talked to the report authors - Othmar Karas (EPP, Austria), Liêm Hoang-Ngoc (S&D, France)and Alejandro Cercas (S&D, Spain) - about how EU countries in financial difficulties should be supported in the future.
Much has happened since Greece approached its EU partners for help in dealing with the debt crisis engulfing the country in 2010. The needed loan came at the cost of having to cut social services, pensions and salaries in order to help lower its public debt. A Parliament delegation is visiting Greece on 29-30 January to find out how this cure prescribed by the Troika has affected the country.
The European Parliament started an open discussion on LinkedIn in December on a draft report on the social aspects of Troika policies in bailout countries, with the goal of involving ordinary people and including their concerns. After three months of direct consultations, Alejandro Cercas, a Spanish member of the S&D group, wrote a report, which MEPs adopted on 13 March. We spoke to him to find out his impressions about this social media experiment.
Europeans have for the first time ever the opportunity to help draft an EP report via social media. Join our LinkedIn group and advise Alejandro Cercas, who is writing a report on how the Troika - made up of the European Commission, ECB and the IMF - has affected people living in the bailout countries. You can also follow a hearing by the social affairs committee on this live on 9 January. We asked Mr Cercas, a Spanish member of the S&D group, for more details about this unique project.
European deputies and their colleagues from national parliaments met at the European Parliamentary conference from 20 to 22 January in Brussels to mark the beginning of the annual EU national fiscal policy coordination cycle. Parliamentarians want to ensure that measures aimed at reining in budget deficits and public debt take into account how the measures will affected people. They also pointed out that austerity programmes for bail-out countries currently lack democratic legitimacy.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has played a key role in fighting the crisis in Europe in recent years, making it important to scrutinise what it is doing. It has been part of the troika of international lenders that manage the bailouts for crisis-stricken EU countries and is preparing to take on the supervision over Europe’s largest banks. On 12 December the European Parliament votes on a report reviewing the ECB’s work in 2012, which is why we asked three MEPs from different groups about it.
How successful have the policies of the so-called Troika been in fighting the crisis in the eurozone's most affected countries? A hearing organised by the economic committee on Tuesday 5 November will look into this. Discussions will focus on the situation in Ireland, Cyprus, Spain, Slovenia, Greece, Portugal and Italy as well as on the democratic legitimacy of the reforms asked for. We talked about it with committee chair Sharon Bowles ahead of the hearing.
Economic growth is slowly returning to Europe thanks to the EU's response to the crisis, yet countries still have much to do to improve their competitiveness, according to Klaus Regling. As the managing director of the European Stability Mechanism, which is tasked with giving financial aid to troubled countries, Mr Regling is one of the best placed people to comment on how the eurozone is doing at the moment. But although he is cautiously optimistic, he warned that the crisis is not over yet.
The crisis forced Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus to accept international bailout programmes monitored by an authority that came to be known as the Troika. It was named the Troika because it was composed of representatives from three organisations: the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Check out our two infographics for an overview of the three organisations and a timeline of the bailouts.