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Thursday, 12 May 2011 - StrasbourgOJ edition
ANNEX (Written answers) - QUESTIONS TO THE COUNCIL(The Presidency-in-Office of the Council of the European Union bears sole responsibility for these answers)

Question no 13 by Mairead McGuinness (H-000188/11 )  
 Subject: Growing anti-EU sentiment

Is the Council concerned that the financial rescue packages for Member States are fostering growing anti-EU sentiment both among the recipients, which feel that the cost is too great, and the countries footing the bill?

The recent election results in Finland could serve as an example of disillusionment with the EU. Has the Council discussed this problem and what initiatives would it propose to combat the growing division between the so-called ‘core’ and ‘periphery’?


The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the May 2011 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

(EN) Concerns raised regarding public opinion in both recipient Member States and those contributing to financial support actions are fully discussed in the process of agreeing any financial support and economic adjustment programme.

In this regard, certain aspects of the organisation of the framework for financial support should be borne in mind :

1. Financial support is only provided at the explicit request of a Member State facing financial difficulty.

2. Financial support is only provided to a euro area Member State in the interests of the stability of the euro area as a whole.

3. The granting of financial support to a euro area Member State is decided by unanimity.

4. Financial support is provided in the context of an economic adjustment programme, and in conjunction with the financial and technical involvement of the IMF.

In this context, a major reform of economic governance in the EU is well underway, with six legislative acts under negotiation - these will strengthen the framework for economic coordination within the EU. In addition the "Euro Plus Pact" has also been agreed, under which all euro area Member States, as well as any other Member States who wish to do so, will make specific commitments regarding economic policies which will be subject to peer review at the very highest political level.

The coherence and cohesiveness of the euro area, and of the EU economy as a whole, should be enhanced by these reforms and by the framework for financial assistance that has been developed in case of need in any Member State.

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