Thumbs down to European Council summit
The European Council missed an opportunity to take real decisions at its latest summit, said most of Parliament's political group leaders on Tuesday. The EU needs more ambition from the Council on banking supervision and the long-term EU budget, and less of a focus on austerity, they stressed in Parliament's regular post-summit plenary debate. The issue of gender balance in the European Central Bank was also raised.
The debate was opened by European Council and Commission Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso.
Joseph Daul (EPP, FR), stressed the need for a good multiannual EU budget and called on all sides to act responsibly. Hannes Swoboda (S&D, AT) said the summit had delivered too little on growth. He called for a growth policy to replace the growth pact and for a social pillar to be included in the blueprint for economic and monetary union to be agreed in December. The need to focus less on austerity and more on growth was also stressed by Rebecca Harms (Greens/EFA, DE) and Gabriele Zimmer (GUE/NGL, DE)
Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, BE) and Martin Callanan (ECR, UK) both criticised the summit for effectively freezing true progress on banking supervision until the German federal elections. Nigel Farage (EFD, UK) said that the summit had produced more of the usual dangerous results.
Mr Van Rompuy described Monday's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee vote on Yves Mersch's nomination to the ECB Executive Board as an "understandable expression of concern". He told MEPs that he had appealed to heads of state and government at the summit "to identify and propose good female candidates for vacant posts at European level, in particular in the economic and financial sectors".