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Postopek : 2017/2114(INI)
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Potek postopka za dokument : A8-0310/2017

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A8-0310/2017

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PV 25/10/2017 - 13
CRE 25/10/2017 - 13

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PV 26/10/2017 - 10.7
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P8_TA(2017)0418

Razprave
Sreda, 25. oktober 2017 - Strasbourg Pregledana izdaja

13. Ekonomske politike euroobmočja (razprava)
Video posnetki govorov
PV
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  Przewodniczący. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dnia jest sprawozdanie sporządzone przez Gunnara Hökmarka w imieniu Komisji Gospodarczej i Monetarnej w sprawie polityki gospodarczej strefy euro (2017/2114(INI)) (A8-0310/2017).

 
  
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  Gunnar Hökmark, rapporteur. – Mr President, I would like to thank the Commission for its presentation, and also thank the shadow rapporteurs, who have been working very closely with politically very difficult items. Stability needs a dynamic economy in Europe. If we are to have stable societies and stable social development, we need to have a more dynamic economy that fosters growth. But a dynamic economy also requires stability in terms of public finances, legal certainty and opportunities for new enterprises, innovation and investment.

It is important that, when raising the European Union growth targets, we improve people’s living and social conditions. We will secure stability on the financial markets, but we will also lay the ground for the future competitiveness of the European economy, because if we cannot be in the lead, and if we cannot have the investments we need, then we will lose.

We have an economic recovery going on in the European Union, but it is slow and it is not enough. Investments are not catching up, although it is very much based on a unique monetary policy. We have lower unemployment than back in the days of 2008 before the crisis, but on the other hand, the GDP per capita is not very much above what we had before the crisis.

It is important to note that we have lower deficits, lower debts, more growth and lower unemployment. We should know first of all that this is not enough, but also that there are huge differences between the Member States. Some are still suffering from very high unemployment. Some are still dealing with major deficits. We have very different performances in the economies of the European Union.

This proves one thing, and that is the good news. The good news is that we are not doing as well as we can. It would have been depressing if this was the best we could do. But we can do better. We see that through the differences, the fact that some Member States are developing better as regards labour markets, employment and investment. For me and for us behind the report, this illustrates the need to have a look not only on the aggregated level, but also at each Member State.

We need to have cohesion in economic growth, and therefore we need to have cohesion in structural reforms. We need to have a target of potential growth of 3% for every Member State in order to achieve 1% higher growth. We need to reform labour markets. We need to reform other markets, meaning more competition. We need to have budgetary reforms opening up for lower taxes, especially on jobs and investments, and we need to ensure that we in the European Union can achieve an internal market fostering an economy that can be a global leader.

We can achieve a lot if we look at the reality now and at the need for structural reforms and stability at the same time, then we will deliver splendid economic development for the citizens of the European Union, but we need to take action. That is the main message in this report.

 
  
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  Yana Toom, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. – Mr President, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs adopted 45 suggestions into this resolution, but I only have time for a few remarks. Unemployment rates have not yet returned to pre-crisis levels and the youth unemployment rate remains unacceptably high. Labour market conditions and performance still show substantial differences across Member States. Poverty remains high as well.

We need continuous efforts to achieve a balance between the economic and social dimensions of the European semester policies. The efficiency and effectiveness of labour market policies should be increased. The Committee calls for the continuation of the youth employment initiative while taking into account the latest findings of the Court of Auditors’ Special Report. We need an integrated anti-poverty strategy. In this regard, the Committee underlined the role of Member States’ minimum income schemes.

We require investment in skills development, particularly digital skills and programming. Otherwise, the Union’s competitive position may be undermined. Better skills-matching and improved mutual recognition of qualifications is necessary to address skills shortages and mismatches.

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, it is a pleasure to be here today to discuss this important and timely topic of the economic policies of the euro area. I would like to thank the rapporteur, Mr Hökmark, and all the shadow rapporteurs for the report.

As you rightly point out in the report, economic recovery in the euro area is continuing and strengthening. It has become increasingly broad-based across countries. All 28 Member States are back to growth. We are witnessing steady employment growth with unemployment at its lowest level in eight years and improving business sentiment, with confidence at its highest in a decade. We see that our economic policy priorities of supporting investment, structural reforms and responsible fiscal policies are delivering results.

But, despite this robust recovery, we still see subdued core inflation, wage growth that does not reflect labour market developments, large current account surpluses in some euro area Member States, high debt levels and persistent investment gaps. Most importantly, we see persistent economic and social divergences in the euro area. These make it harder to manage our economy and mean that the recovery is not benefiting all European citizens equally.

The years prior to the crisis saw a trend of real convergence within the euro area. However, it partly masked the boom phase of the boom-bust cycle that unravelled later. But this convergence trend was brought to a halt by the crisis, and since then we have been witnessing persistent divergences. I agree with you that the euro area harbours untapped economic potential and that we have to deploy all our efforts to increase potential growth, while making growth more inclusive.

Achieving sustainable and inclusive growth is the ultimate aim of everything we do in the European Semester. This must be done by taking into account and tackling the individual structural weaknesses of our Member States. We see positive tendencies in the EU economy, but there is no time to relax. We should aim at strengthening the resilience of our economies, boosting productivity, growth and inclusiveness. Reforms must combine the goals of creating efficiency and stability with a strong focus on fairness and empowering people over their lifetime by making them ready to face changes.

As you know, in November the Commission will issue the Annual Growth Survey and a proposal for a recommendation for economic policy in the euro area. The recommendation aims to identify common challenges in the euro area, and this will serve as guidance for consequent country—specific recommendations.

At the same time, we must continue to work on deepening and strengthening our economic and monetary union. This is precisely about addressing the current lack of convergence in the Union. A well—functioning economic and monetary union should become our main tool for renewed convergence in the euro area. Future reforms should make sure that economic and monetary union delivers on its original objectives: growth and jobs, as well as economic, social and territorial cohesion.

The new architecture should create stronger incentives for reforms and support national policies with new instruments at European level. In all, it must be able to deliver on the initiatives for a deeper and fairer EMU, as announced by President Juncker in his State of the Union speech and in the Commission’s work programme.

The forthcoming EMU package, which we will present on 6 December, will comprise a number of these initiatives. We will propose to bring the European Stability Mechanism into the European Union legal framework in order to make it more democratically accountable and, at the same time, to strengthen its role and improve decision—making procedures.

We will propose the creation of a dedicated euro area budget line within the future EU budget in order to provide for four functions: structural reform assistance, stabilisation function, a backstop for a banking union and a convergence instrument to give pre—accession assistance for Member States on their way to euro membership. We will also propose incorporating the substance of the Treaty of Stability, Coordination and Governance in the EMU into the EU framework, as was initially agreed in 2012.

With a view to 2025, the Commission will also set out views on the possible creation of a permanent European Minister of Economy and Finance and present exploratory work for the possible development of the euro area safe asset. We will also continue our work towards completing the banking union and capital markets union.

Our economic and monetary union will only become stronger if solidarity and responsibility go hand in hand. So we need to work closely together towards this ambitious and important objective of deepening the EMU and making it more resilient. I look forward to hearing your views on this very topical report.

 
  
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  Sofia Ribeiro, em nome do Grupo PPE. – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, é muito satisfatória a diminuição, na União Europeia, da taxa de desemprego e de desemprego jovem para cerca de 9,5% e 19,4%, respetivamente. Mas não podemos baixar os braços.

Apesar das melhorias, ainda existem 14 milhões de jovens europeus sem trabalho, que não estudam nem estão em formação. Isto é terrível e inaceitável. Para além do tremendo impacto social, tem um custo de 153 mil milhões de euros para a União Europeia, sabendo que a aplicação mais ampla da Garantia Jovem em toda a União nos custaria muito menos.

Urge sermos mais incisivos com a sua implementação, reforçando-a a nível nacional, regional e local, conscientes da importância que esta garantia tem na preparação dos jovens para o mercado de trabalho.

Por outro lado, urge também reforçar a sua monitorização para evitarmos mecanismos que falsificam os números do emprego com recurso a estágios e outros programas de formação, criando a ilusão de uma retoma que, na verdade, é demasiado frágil, sem garantias de sustentabilidade.

Temos de estar preparados para o futuro. Devemos ser exigentes na aposta na educação e na formação, em especial no desenvolvimento das competências digitais, para fazermos face aos novos desafios. Esta é uma condição essencial para a defesa do modelo social europeu, que passa pela sustentabilidade dos nossos sistemas de segurança social. É precisamente na defesa deste modelo social europeu, num equilíbrio com a sustentabilidade económica, que deve assentar o Semestre Europeu.

Neste sentido, propusemos um procedimento por desequilíbrios sociais que, apesar de não punitivo, tem como objetivo fortalecer a vertente social das políticas europeias, por forma a criarmos um verdadeiro pilar social europeu que garanta o futuro da União, que garanta o futuro dos nossos jovens.

 
  
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  Pedro Silva Pereira, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, Caros Colegas, este é um momento importante para a governação democrática da União Económica e Monetária. Na verdade, através do relatório que, hoje, aqui discutimos, o Parlamento Europeu, eleito diretamente pelos cidadãos, pronunciou-se sobre a orientação da política económica da zona euro.

Quero saudar o relator, Gunnar Hökmark, porque, apesar das nossas diferenças políticas – que são, obviamente, muitas –, tivemos, mais uma vez, oportunidade de manter um trabalho construtivo para um relatório equilibrado e globalmente positivo. Creio que é o que temos hoje diante de nós: um relatório equilibrado e globalmente positivo.

É importante começar por reconhecer os sinais de recuperação económica a que temos vindo a assistir na zona euro. Temos hoje mais crescimento, menos desemprego, menos défice e dívidas públicas mais controladas. Mas a primeira mensagem deste Parlamento é uma mensagem de alerta. A recuperação económica europeia que temos é ainda insuficiente, demasiado frágil e desigual.

Apesar do Plano Juncker e da viragem de página da austeridade em alguns países, esta recuperação da economia está ainda demasiado apoiada numa política monetária expansionista do Banco Central Europeu que não pode durar para sempre.

É por isso que a segunda mensagem deste relatório e deste Parlamento é que precisamos urgentemente de superar o défice de investimento que ainda existe na economia europeia.

Há, com certeza, muitas alterações estruturais para corrigir a arquitetura da zona euro e defender as nossas economias da especulação nos mercados de dívida soberana, mas a prioridade ao investimento é incontornável.

Precisamos de um reforço do Plano Juncker, com uma mais justa distribuição geográfica, mas precisamos também de uma política orçamental diferente, que faça pleno uso das cláusulas de flexibilidade, e esta é uma questão central.

A constatação de facto deste relatório é que, enquanto a Comissão Europeia propôs uma política orçamental moderadamente expansionista, vamos continuar a ter uma política orçamental essencialmente neutral. É isto que precisamos de corrigir para devolver à economia europeia a ambição de convergência e a ambição de crescimento económico e de investimento.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας ECR. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κύριε Dombrovskis, η οικονομική πολιτική της ευρωζώνης που στηρίζεται στη λιτότητα και στη βίαιη δημοσιονομική προσαρμογή έχει αποτύχει. Το αποδεικνύει η οικονομική διάλυση του ευρωπαϊκού Νότου, που γέμισε με εκατομμύρια φτωχούς και με τεράστιες στρατιές ανέργων. Το αποδεικνύει η Ελλάδα, την οποία η τρόικα μετέτρεψε σε ένα απέραντο κοινωνικό νεκροταφείο, με συντάξεις και μισθούς πείνας, με τη λεηλασία της δημόσιας περιουσίας, με την αρπαγή των σπιτιών των Ελλήνων από τα «κοράκια». Το αποδεικνύει η Γερμανία, η οποία συσσωρεύει τεράστια εμπορικά πλεονάσματα λόγω της ευρωζώνης. Ταυτόχρονα, τα δομικά και θεσμικά ελλείμματα της ευρωζώνης εντείνουν τα οικονομικά αδιέξοδα, αυξάνουν τα ελλείμματα καθώς και το τεράστιο δημόσιο και ιδιωτικό χρέος. Επιπλέον, κύριε Dombrovskis, το μοντέλο ανταγωνιστικότητας που εσείς προωθείτε στηρίζεται στο Σύμφωνο Euro Plus το οποίο οδηγεί στην κινεζοποίηση των ευρωπαϊκών μισθών και στην αύξηση της δυστυχίας. Χρειάζεται αλλαγή πορείας. Χρειάζεται δίκαιη κατανομή του παραγόμενου πλούτου, διαγραφή του επονείδιστου χρέους και αύξηση των κοινωνικών δαπανών.

 
  
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  Lieve Wierinck, namens de ALDE-Fractie. – Beste voorzitter, geachte commissaris Dombrovskis, beste collega's, eerst en vooral zou ik de heer Hökmark willen bedanken voor zijn inspanningen bij de samenstelling van het verslag. Tevens dank aan de andere schaduwrapporteurs voor de positieve en productieve samenwerking. Het resultaat is een duidelijk compromis waar een grote meerderheid achter kan staan.

Elk jaar investeren we veel tijd in het analyseren van onze economie en proberen we te bepalen hoe we het beter kunnen doen. Het belangrijkste resultaat zijn de landenspecifieke aanbevelingen. Ik zou de lidstaten dan ook willen vragen deze uit te voeren. Over vele maatregelen kan je natuurlijk verschillende visies hebben, maar een hoge schuldenlast is een risico en een hypotheek op de toekomst. We moeten ervoor zorgen dat onze kinderen en kleinkinderen hier de rekening niet van moeten betalen. We moeten niet minder uitgeven, maar anders. We moeten meer investeren in onderzoek en innovatie om zo onze competitiviteit te bewaren. De economie moderniseren, administratieve lasten verlagen en de belasting op arbeid verminderen, om zo meer investeringen aan te trekken, wat de groei zal stimuleren. Investeren in innovatie zal de werkgelegenheid en de welvaart voor de toekomst verzekeren. Landen die het minder goed doen, budgettair of op het gebied van competitiviteit en productiviteit, moeten meer inspanningen doen. De nadruk moet worden gelegd op onderwijs en vaardigheden (skills). En de financiering voor bedrijven en kmo's moet worden verbeterd. Daarentegen, lidstaten die het goed doen, mogen zeker niet gestraft worden.

Ten laatste zou ik graag het volgende willen benadrukken: de basis van een economie is een gezonde balans tussen inkomsten en uitgaven, dus een gezonde fiscaliteit. Dit is de verantwoordelijkheid van de lidstaten.

Het semester is een document dat een breed beeld geeft van onze economie. Werkgelegenheid maakt hier, zoals vele andere aspecten, een deel van uit. In de toekomst moeten economische en monetaire zaken de basis van het verslag blijven.

 
  
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  Δημήτριος Παπαδημούλης, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας GUE/NGL. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κύριε Dombrovskis, όπως κι εσείς ομολογήσατε, στα χρόνια της κρίσης αυξήθηκαν επικίνδυνα οι ανισότητες, τόσο οι κοινωνικές όσο και οι περιφερειακές. Αντί για σύγκλιση έχουμε απόκλιση ανάμεσα στους πλούσιους και τους φτωχούς, τον Βορρά και τον Νότο. Γι’ αυτό και χρειάζεται εμβάθυνση της πολιτικής και οικονομικής ενοποίησης της ευρωζώνης, αλλά με επίκεντρο τη μείωση της ανεργίας, την ενίσχυση μιας ανάπτυξης που να στηρίζει κυρίως τους ασθενέστερους και την κοινωνική συνοχή. Και γι’ αυτό απαιτούνται μέτρα: ενίσχυση του Ταμείου Juncker, περισσότερα κονδύλια για τη μείωση της ανεργίας των νέων, ενίσχυση του ρόλου της Τράπεζας Ευρωπαϊκών Επενδύσεων, τόνωση της ζήτησης και των επενδύσεων σε χώρες όπως η Γερμανία που έχει θηριώδη πρωτογενή πλεονάσματα σε βάρος του ευρωπαϊκού Νότου, και επίσης ευρωπαϊκές λύσεις για το χρέος που είναι ευρωπαϊκό πρόβλημα. Κύριε Dombrovskis, είναι ώρα για πράξεις και όχι για λόγια και ευχολόγια σε ένα πνεύμα «business as usual». Αυτό σας ζητάει το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο.

 
  
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  Ernest Urtasun, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, first of all I would like to thank the rapporteur for the cooperation. Even though we had too many divergences to have an agreement on that particular file, the spirit was constructive, and I would like to thank you for that.

We are very critical of the assessment that we will do in the Semester. We believe that, in a way, we are supporting the implementation of a policy mix that is failing; one that basically says ‘cut public expenditure, implement supply-side structural reforms, and everything will be fine’. We believe that the flaws and problems of the European economy are still very big, and we need to correct that. Once the action of the ECB diminishes, our economies are probably still not ready to continue in a sustainable path for growth.

We are, in that sense, too complacent with the report regarding the current state of the euro area economy, and we remain too silent on the institutional reforms required for its future at the current juncture. Furthermore, the environmental and sustainability angle is missing, as the need to increase resource efficiency and to adapt the economy to the fight against climate change is not mentioned in the report. We also have, in the text, a strongly productivist narrative insisting on the need to achieve high GDP growth rates and to increase, as a priority, price competitiveness.

There is no mention, as Mr Papadimoulis was saying, of the issue of macroeconomic and financial imbalances inside the eurozone, and we know that the macroeconomic imbalances procedure should be used by the Commission in a much more decisive way, taking into account the imbalances that we have inside the euro area.

Finally, there is also no mention of the issues related to taxation and no mention of the CCCTB or the need to advance in other fields regarding taxation. So my Group remains very critical both on the process of the Semester and on the report of its assessment this year, and that is why we cannot support the report this time.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Marco Valli (EFDD), domanda "cartellino blu". – Ringrazio il collega che ha citato la procedura sugli squilibri macroeconomici.

Volevo chiedergli, appunto, se non crede che sia arrivato il momento di procedere anche con delle sanzioni verso questi paesi, visto che sono proprio i paesi più rigoristi che chiedono molto spesso ai paesi periferici di rispettare le regole e poi solo loro i primi a non rispettarle, oppure ricevono continuamente raccomandazioni molto blande.

Non è il caso di chiederlo al Commissario, visto che è qua e dovrebbe risponderci?

 
  
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  Ernest Urtasun (Verts/ALE), respuesta de «tarjeta azul». – Sí, estoy de acuerdo con el diputado Valli en que hay un procedimiento que se puede activar en caso de desequilibrios muy grandes, a través del MIP.

Tenemos, en estos momentos, un desequilibrio por la balanza comercial muy sostenido, un superávit muy sostenido por parte de algunos Estados miembros durante mucho tiempo. Y le hemos preguntado muchas veces a la Comisión Europea cuáles son los criterios, básicamente durante cuánto tiempo y a qué nivel debe estar ese nivel de superávit para que ellos activen el MIP. Y, hasta ahora, no responden a ello.

Pero estoy totalmente de acuerdo con el diputado en que esa cuestión debería activarse, porque es uno de los desequilibrios principales que tiene en estos momentos la zona del euro.

 
  
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  Marco Valli, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, io ritengo che, come ogni volta nella procedura del semestre, ci sia una relazione inaccettabile, che vede un compromesso principale preso tra socialisti e popolari dall'inizio di questa legislatura nei confronti di una politica dell'austerità fallimentare, che viene esaltata come meritevole dai dati positivi che ci sono in questi momenti, quando è palese che i dati sono positivi per un andamento macroeconomico positivo in seguito alle politiche monetarie espansive portate avanti da tutte le banche centrali.

L'esaltazione delle riforme all'interno di queste relazioni è scandalosa, proprio perché le riforme che sono state portate avanti sono volte verso la svalutazione salariale. Non è questo il modo di bilanciare quegli squilibri, come il surplus tedesco, che stanno fagocitando la domanda interna dell'eurozona e soprattutto dei paesi del Sud.

Bisogna denunciare queste cose e bisogna applicare le tanto sbandierate regole, perché il surplus di alcuni paesi, tra cui Germania e Olanda, è arrivato a livelli inaccettabili, e quindi bisogna affrontare di petto il problema, evitando, come al solito in queste relazioni, di non parlarne perché non piace ai popolari e ai socialisti tirar fuori la verità sugli squilibri macroeconomici dell'area euro.

(L'oratore accetta di rispondere a una domanda "cartellino blu" (articolo 162, paragrafo 8, del regolamento)).

 
  
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  Gunnar Hökmark (PPE), blue-card question. – Mr Valli, I would like to thank you for accepting the blue card.

I couldn’t let that pass; when I listen to you, it is as if it is always the fault of someone else when a Member State has economic problems. Couldn’t you accept that all Member States need to look at the reforms: budget reforms and structural reforms in order to achieve higher levels of growth? Don’t you see that the differences between different Member States tell you something that we need to do, that we cannot just spend and spend more than we have because we will not get more money by that?

 
  
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  Marco Valli (EFDD), risposta a una domanda "cartellino blu". – Io credo che ci siano molte differenze tra gli Stati membri, però non ritengo che le riforme che vengono spinte dalla Commissione europea, che sono volte molto spesso nei paesi periferici alla svalutazione salariale, siano un modo giusto per risolvere gli squilibri interni all'eurozona. Questa è la politica perpetrata. Abbiamo un livello di sotto-occupazione veramente scandaloso, soprattutto in paesi come l'Italia dove sono state applicate le riforme del mondo del lavoro.

Nel momento in cui ci sarà una marcia indietro sulle politiche monetarie vedremo i soliti squilibri dell'area euro venire fuori, quindi sarebbe opportuno mettere fine a questi squilibri con misure concrete nei confronti dell'area valutaria per renderla ottimale, cosa però molto difficile.

 
  
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  Marco Zanni, a nome del gruppo ENF. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, qui oggi si parla delle politiche economiche della zona euro. Io credo che l'unica riforma, per quanto riguarda la zona euro, che vale la pena discutere sia lo smantellamento di Maastricht.

Maastricht, quello che è venuto dopo e quello che è stato fatto in preparazione di questo trattato e dell'Unione economica e monetaria europea, oggi rappresentano il problema principale non solo per gli Stati del Sud ma per tutta l'Europa. L'euro e l'Unione economica e monetaria, per loro natura e per loro architettura, alimentano le divergenze non solo tra gli Stati membri ma anche all'interno delle varie classi sociali degli Stati membri. La riprova l'abbiamo dalle votazioni in vari paesi: è quello che è successo in Germania, dove la popolazione più povera e più sconfitta da queste politiche della Germania dell'Est ha votato per partiti considerati estremisti.

Io credo che sia arrivato il momento di sederci attorno a un tavolo e pensare a come smantellare questa moneta unica, che non funziona, e a far ripartire l'Europa su un percorso di crescita e di sviluppo omogeneo e in cooperazione tra Stati sovrani.

 
  
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  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, επιτέλους πρέπει να παραδεχτούμε ότι η Οικονομική και Νομισματική Ένωση, η οποία, σημειωτέον, επιβλήθηκε με μη σύννομες διαδικασίες με τη Συνθήκη του Μάαστριχτ, έχει προκαλέσει σε πολλά κράτη μέλη, και ειδικά στη χώρα μου, καταστροφικές οικονομικές, κοινωνικές και πολιτικές συνέπειες. Οι δείκτες ανεργίας, ειδικότερα των νέων, έχουν διαρθρωτικά υψηλά ποσοστά, ολόκληρες κοινωνικές ομάδες φτωχοποιούνται, ο αριθμός των μη εξυπηρετούμενων δανείων αυξάνεται ραγδαία, επενδύσεις δεν πραγματοποιούνται λόγω της παρατεταμένης ύφεσης και οι ρυθμοί ανάπτυξης του ΑΕΠ συνεχώς μειώνονται. Η δημοσιονομική και νομισματική πολιτική πρέπει να αποτελεί αποκλειστική ευθύνη των κρατών μελών χωρίς περιορισμούς και παρεμβατισμούς από την Ένωση, όπως γίνεται με τις υπογραφές μνημονίων ή τις συστάσεις ανά χώρα. Σε πνεύμα πλήρους σεβασμού στις δημοκρατικές αρχές και στην αρχή της εθνικής κυριαρχίας. Επιπλέον, πρέπει να προβλεφθεί ένας επίσημος δημοκρατικός, εφικτός, απλός και ταχύς μηχανισμός ομαλής οικειοθελούς αποχώρησης ή αυτοεξαίρεσης από την ΟΝΕ και το ενιαίο νόμισμα.

 
  
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  Othmar Karas (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Herr Vizepräsident Dombrovskis! Der Hökmark-Bericht kommt zum richtigen Zeitpunkt. Wir haben in allen Mitgliedstaaten ein moderates Wachstum, die Arbeitslosigkeit sinkt konsequent, und wir haben die Erwartung und Hoffnung, dass sich auch die öffentlichen Defizite im Euro-Raum weiter reduzieren.

Es gibt aber noch genügend unausgeschöpftes Potenzial, und wir haben viel Luft nach oben, denn die Mitgliedstaaten haben immer noch erst zwei Drittel ihrer länderspezifischen Empfehlungen umgesetzt. Wir wissen, dass mehr Strukturreformen und mehr private und öffentliche Investitionen mindestens ein um 1 % höheres Wachstum bedeuten würden. Wir wissen aus dem Monti-Bericht, dass die Vervollständigung des Binnenmarkts mindestens 3 % mehr Wachstum bedeutet, wenn wir nur das tun, was wir schon beschlossen und was wir uns vorgenommen haben.

Ich meine daher, dass der Bericht den Finger in die richtigen Wunden legt und die richtigen Herausforderungen und den Handlungsbedarf anspricht, denn das Europäische Semester gibt der Kommission zwar die Möglichkeit, den Finger in die Wunden zu legen, der Widerspruch zwischen Daten und Zielen wird aber immer deutlicher sichtbar.

Das Europäische Semester ersetzt nicht, die Währungsunion auf dem Boden des Gemeinschaftsrechts zur Wirtschaftsunion weiterzuentickeln. Es ersetzt nicht die Schaffung eines europäischen Wirtschafts- und Finanzministers. Es ersetzt nicht die Tatsache, dass wir den ESFM auf Gemeinschaftsrecht zum europäischen Währungsfonds machen. Setzen wir auch den Bericht ergänzend um, dann tragen wir zur Vertiefung der Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion und zu ihrer Erweiterung für mehr Wachstum und Beschäftigung bei.

 
  
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  Pervenche Berès (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Vice-président, en évoquant le rapport de notre collègue Othmar Karas sur la recommandation pour la zone euro, vous avez en fait également abordé la question de la réforme que nous attendons pour le 6 décembre, à l’initiative de la Commission, sur l’approfondissement et l’achèvement de l’Union économique et monétaire.

Permettez-moi d’en dire un mot, car je crois que, dans cette perspective, cette recommandation pour la zone euro, pour une fois – pour la première fois –, tient vraiment compte de ce concept auquel nous accordons beaucoup d’importance, à savoir la question de la position agrégée de la zone euro.

Si l’on veut disposer d’un véritable outil de pilotage de la zone, il faut tirer tout le fil que l’on peut de cette notion. De ce point de vue, vous avez évoqué les inégalités existant à l’intérieur de certains États membres et entre les États membres. C’est pour cela qu’il nous faut nous servir de cette position agrégée de la zone euro pour recenser les points où les États membres peuvent avoir des marges de manœuvre et où on doit pouvoir mobiliser à la fois l’investissement public et l’investissement privé. C’est comme cela que nous pourrons aller de l’avant.

Vous avez aussi évoqué l’intégration du pacte budgétaire ou TSCG dans le droit de l’Union. Vous le savez, nous avons eu un débat ici il y a quelque temps. Nous ne l’accepterons pas dans n’importe quelles conditions. Une marge de flexibilité pour corriger les travers économiques contenus dans ce traité est absolument indispensable, y compris si vous voulez consolider cet état de santé des politiques des économies de la zone euro dont vous vous réjouissez.

Voilà, Monsieur le Président, les quelques contributions je voulais apporter à ce débat.

 
  
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  Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner (ECR). – Arvoisa puhemies, euroalueen elpymisestä huolimatta talouspolitiikka on ollut tehotonta alentamaan nopeasti työttömyyttä.

Perusongelmaa eli yhtenäisvaluuttaa ei edes mainita mietinnössä, kuten ei valuuttakursseja ylipäätään, vaikka niillä on ollut keskeinen vaikutus euroalueen elpymisessä. Erilaiset ehdotetut ja toteutetut rakenteelliset uudistukset eivät ole korvanneet tai tule korvaamaan jäsenmaiden valuuttakurssipolitiikan puuttumista, mikä estää nopeat kilpailukyvyn korjaukset eri maiden välillä.

Talouden joustavuuden lisäämisessä on käytännössä kyse usein palkkojen laskusta, mikä on hidas, tuskallinen ja riskialtis keino palauttaa menetetty kilpailukyky, eikä välttämättä edes mahdollinen. Valitettavasti tämä asia sivuutetaan kokonaan mietinnössä. Mielestäni mietinnössä tulisi käsitellä kaikkia keskeisiä talouspoliittisia kysymyksiä.

 
  
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  Enrique Calvet Chambon (ALDE). – Señor presidente, señor vicepresidente —que no me presta atención, pero bueno—, el Semestre Europeo nos indica que hemos conseguido un cierto saneamiento financiero estable —esperemos que no sea frágil—; que mejoran las notas de empleo —sabemos que de aquella manera—; que hay cierto crecimiento —no es como para tirar cohetes, esperemos que los nubarrones no lo oscurezcan—.

Yo me voy a concentrar en la falta de percepción de la sociedad, en muchas zonas de Europa, de esas mejorías. Le voy a decir que hay tres razones fundamentales: una es la dificultad de resignarse a que no serán las cosas como antes, pero no podemos hacer gran cosa; la otra es la dualidad del mercado de trabajo y generaciones perdidas como los ninis —podemos hacer mucho y hay que meterlo en el Semestre Europeo—; y la tercera y fundamental es el crecimiento inaceptable ahora de las desigualdades.

Y para eso necesitamos políticas de distribución fiscales, políticas de inversión y políticas de renta en todo el Semestre Europeo orientadas, obsesivamente, a reducir la dinámica desigualitaria.

 
  
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  Bernard Monot (ENF). – Monsieur le Président, au nom de l’emploi, ce rapport d’initiative de la zone euro, d’inspiration suédoise, soutient un ordolibéralisme germanique des plus stériles et aveugles. Ce rapport vient certainement en appui d’une ligne dure en vue du prochain paquet «zone euro» de la Commission.

La question principale est surtout de savoir si le Fonds monétaire européen in fine se retrouvera ou non en charge de la surveillance budgétaire des États membres, comme le veut l’Allemagne, laquelle disposera ainsi d’un outil redoutable de mise sous tutelle des finances publiques des autres pays européens. C’est une menace politique inacceptable pour une nation qui veut être indépendante.

Au final, nous rejetons donc complètement ce rapport. En réalité, il serait plus efficace et urgent de combattre le surplus de la balance du commerce extérieur allemand, qui vampirise la croissance économique du reste de la zone euro.

Nous proposons donc les alternatives suivantes: que l’Allemagne fasse des dépenses d’investissement dans la zone euro; que les entreprises allemandes acceptent de revaloriser les salaires de leurs employés afin de relancer la demande intérieure allemande; et que le plan d’assouplissement quantitatif de la BCE soit transformé en programme de monétisation de la dette publique des États par les banques centrales nationales.

 
  
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  Maria Arena (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, la perte de confiance dans le marché européen à la suite de la crise de 2008, mais aussi la réduction des dépenses publiques ont eu des effets directs sur la croissance européenne, qui, aujourd’hui, demeure lente et surtout – vous l’avez dit, Monsieur le Commissaire – n’est pas une croissance inclusive, au vu des grandes disparités aujourd’hui en Europe.

En matière d’emploi plus particulièrement, si l’on note une hausse du taux d’emploi, il apparaît néanmoins que cette hausse ne concerne pas tous les pays, ni toutes les régions d’Europe. On note surtout qu’elle s’accompagne de plus d’emplois précaires et n’a pas permis de renverser la courbe de chômage des jeunes. Aujourd’hui, certaines régions d’Europe affichent un taux de chômage des jeunes supérieur à 30 %.

Alors, il est vrai que nous devons offrir mieux. Nous avons avancé quelques propositions: premièrement, augmenter les investissements publics et privés, créateurs d’emplois dans les régions qui ne bénéficient pas des effets de la relance; deuxièmement, donner de l’importance à l’éducation et à la formation dans le cadre du Semestre européen; troisièmement, renforcer la garantie «jeunesse»; quatrièmement, souligner l’importance des négociations collectives pour améliorer le pouvoir d’achat des travailleurs; cinquièmement, lutter contre la polarisation des revenus et renforcer les systèmes de protection sociale; et, enfin, travailler sur l’équilibre entre vie privée et vie professionnelle.

Tout cela doit pouvoir être fait par l’intermédiaire de discussions dans le cadre du Conseil «Emploi, politique sociale, santé et consommateurs» (EPSCO), qui me semble devoir être associé au Semestre européen.

 
  
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  Richard Sulík (ECR). – Vážený pán predsedajúci. Akákoľvek hospodárska politika eurozóny je skreslená monetárnou politikou Európskej centrálnej banky. ECB už vykúpila verejný dlh za viac ako dvetisíc miliárd EUR a jej suma, jej bilančná suma, je viac ako štyridsať percent HDP eurozóny. Toto je v časoch mieru rekord. Európska centrálna banka momentálne vykupuje štátne dlhopisy v sedemkrát väčšom objeme ako je čistý prírastok dlhu. Pritom Európska centrálna banka nesmie vykupovať verejný dlh. Zároveň sú úrokové sadzby dlhodobo na nule, čím znevýhodňujeme tých, ktorí šetria a hospodária zodpovedne a naopak zvýhodňujeme dlžníkov. Európska centrálna banka je mimo akejkoľvek demokratickej kontroly a predseda komisie Juncker sa tvári, že tento obrovský problém sa ho netýka.

Je síce pekné, že sa tu venujeme hospodárskej politike eurozóny, no oveľa dôležitejšie je venovať sa monetárnej politike a vyčíňaniu Európskej centrálnej banky.

 
  
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  Jakob von Weizsäcker (S&D). – Mr President, I welcome this report on the euro area, and in particular that it points to the danger of complacency. However, I fear the danger of complacency is much more profound than this report is able to express.

There is a danger of complacency in the financial sector as the memories of the crisis fade. This week the Commission withdrew the banking structural reform proposal, to the great applause of the European Peoples’ Party and Gunnar Hökmark, and globally significant banks and their lobbyists are having quite a party knowing that the taxpayer will continue to be on the line when things go wrong.

Also, there is a real danger of complacency with regard to the future of the euro area. It is regrettable that the report does not elaborate on the rather plausible scenario of interest rates going up within the next 18 months, which would stand to put a lot of pressure on countries that have below—average growth and above—average debt levels.

I fear, while I welcome the 6 December package that the Commission has pointed to, that this package is unlikely to be sufficient. Member States – France and Germany in particular – need to use the present window of opportunity to really move the currency union to the next level. Stopping short of that, there is a real danger that complacency will be our peril.

 
  
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  Luigi Morgano (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, nella relazione si indica che bisogna interpretare le regole del patto di stabilità in maniera intelligente. Lo dico perché la flessibilità è la regola, non una gentile concessione.

In questi anni il semestre europeo ha mostrato i suoi limiti, infatti i dati macro restano disomogenei. Se vogliamo tornare a convergere dobbiamo mettere crescita economica, inclusione sociale e convergenza nel cuore del semestre. Ovviamente le regole del patto e la moneta unica non possono, da sole, risolvere i problemi strutturali dell'area euro. È perciò decisivo assumere alcune chiare decisioni a livello politico.

Ce ne sono parecchie: in particolare, visto il tema, un orientamento di bilancio aggregato della zona euro positivo; una capacità di bilancio per l'eurozona che sostenga gli investimenti e un meccanismo contro la disoccupazione, quest'ultimo finanziato con risorse proprie dell'Unione, per evitare un peso eccessivo sui bilanci nazionali; poi ripensare l'architettura istituzionale dell'area euro.

Questo è anche il momento di prendere atto che durante le fasi negative del ciclo serve la possibilità per l'Unione europea di avere un deficit e di emettere titoli pubblici a rischio zero. Lo dico perché in questo momento il rischio è decidere di non decidere e questo potrebbe rischiare di farci ripiombare nella crisi dalla quale faticosamente è iniziata l'uscita.

 
  
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  Alfred Sant (S&D). – Mr President, what we are doing here has got to be judged politically. Social items in the European semester should have been given more priority. We have grown used to the idea that populist discourse, populist and extremist movements, have grown as a consequence of the 2008 crisis. The austerity, the rigid budgetary rules that were introduced in the Eurozone, were meant to reengineer growth and prosperity. Meanwhile, established centrist parties – especially on the left – lost huge amounts of votes. They expected to get them back when growth reappeared.

This semester’s premises seem to show that it has done so. Growth has reappeared. But the political situation remains bleak. A few weeks ago, President Juncker said that the window of opportunity had opened for new steps in the European construction to be taken fast. Following the German, the Austrian and the Czech elections, matters look murkier. Is it that voters disbelieve that growth is back, or is there something within the present growth that they do not like? Are social disparities decreasing, or are they widening?

Politically, we need replies to these questions, which again means that the European semester should make the content of its social chapters more relevant and more effective.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la politica economica di austerity ha mostrato tutti i suoi limiti. Per raggiungere livelli di crescita significativa occorre legare alla stabilizzazione dei bilanci nazionali maggiori investimenti e riforme strutturali, nonché modulare misure di intervento per singoli Stati membri. Ma, come ha ricordato il presidente Draghi qualche giorno fa, per rendere socialmente accettabile il percorso di riforme strutturali occorre che esso sia accompagnato da politiche economiche inclusive e con effetti redistributivi.

Nella zona euro permane una carenza di investimenti. In alcuni Stati gli investimenti hanno già superato i livelli pre-crisi, ma in altri ristagnano o non procedono alla stessa velocità, in particolare nel Sud Europa, dove preoccupa il tasso di disoccupazione, specie giovanile.

Sono dunque necessarie ulteriori misure per colmare il divario di investimenti accumulato dallo scoppio della crisi. Potenziare e rendere più efficiente il programma "Garanzia per i giovani", ma anche investire di più e meglio nella formazione, nella ricerca, nei giovani talenti e nelle start up innovative rappresentano le irrinunciabili coordinate di un'efficace politica economica nella zona euro.

 
  
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  Luke Ming Flanagan (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, as a direct result of an ECB diktat to bail out two non-systemic banks, Ireland is forced to borrow and burn billions. We’re talking about policies of the eurozone: this is a policy of the ECB. In 2015, the Irish Central Bank destroyed EUR two billion; in 2016, EUR three billion; in 2017 so far, EUR 2.5 billion, and another EUR four billion to come. That is EUR 8.5 billion in the last three years.

This is an ECB policy, a policy to pay back a debt that was never Ireland’s. Many here may say, ‘sure, can’t we afford it, isn’t our economy booming?’ Yes, if you accept that one can eat GDP, but GDP growth in Ireland’s case is totally unconnected to ordinary people’s wealth. It does not trickle down. We have record hospital waiting lists. We have record homelessness. We cannot afford the most basic climate change mitigation measures, yet it is the policy of the ECB that my country should continue to borrow and burn billions. And you know what? No one here gives a damn.

 
  
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  Bronis Ropė (Verts/ALE). – Labai tikiuosi, kad Didžiosios Britanijos sprendimas pasitraukti iš Europos Sąjungos mus privers susitelkti įveikti įvairias politines rizikas. Populizmo ir protekcionizmo banga dar neatsitraukė, turime būti budrūs, o jos priežastys visiems puikiai žinomos – didele pajamų nelygybė, socialinė atskirtis, pabėgėlių krizė, terorizmas, atskirtis tarp Rytų ir Vakarų Europos Sąjungos šalių narių, išorės gresmės. Turime dirbti ir įveikti šias problemas, kas gerins socialinį ekonominį klimatą bei skatins ekonomikos augimą. Ir tam visai nebūtina skubėti ar priversti įsivesti eurą visas šalis nares, kurios jo dar neturi. Mums visiems labai svarbus tvarus ir socialiai atsakingas euro zonos bendradarbiavimu paremtas ekonomikos augimas.

 
  
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  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). – Mr President, I would like to start by welcoming the first report expressly dedicated to the eurozone. Following the Commission’s first proposal for a eurozone fiscal stance, I support a positive fiscal stance that will allow Member States to invest more and that directly contributes to the increase of growth and employment. In order to build a stronger Europe, we need to create a more social Europe and to lay the ground for social growth based on a general approach, but also on a country—specific approach. Therefore, we need to ensure that the fiscal policies are led with the necessary flexibility at EU level. Member States must have freedom to manoeuver in their fiscal policies, especially when considering the needed structural reforms to be implemented.

We need to strengthen our fiscal sustainability, vital for our future cohesion. Structural economic reforms should increase EU sustainable growth potential, real economy convergence and social cohesion by reducing economic inequalities and strengthening labour markets through inclusion policies that favour investments.

 
  
 

(Koniec zgłoszeń z sali)

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, I would like to thank you for the fruitful debate we had today and I would like to acknowledge the work of the committees involved in the drafting of this report.

Hearing your views here today was useful and enlightening ahead of the start of the new European semester cycle. As I mentioned, in November we will issue the proposal for a recommendation on economic policy of the euro area. Indeed, this recommendation, as a number of you have noted, will aim to identify common challenges for the euro area and will serve as a guidance for the subsequent formulation of country-specific recommendations.

One of the key messages from the debate is that cyclical conditions are improving and the economic upswing is strengthening. There are still significant economic and social challenges, and there is no time for complacency.

So, let me reiterate that we must create the conditions to support inclusive and balanced growth, further reduce unemployment and promote investment. We must strengthen the resilience of our economies and restart the process of economic and social convergence in the euro area. For this, the better use of our existing tools of economic policy coordination is essential, but not sufficient. The euro area is now much better equipped to face challenges than it was before the crisis, but we have to make sure that we address the remaining important gaps in our economic governance and the institutional state of the Economic and Monetary Union.

Honourable President, honourable Members, thank you once again and I look forward to continuing cooperation throughout the European semester cycle.

 
  
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  Gunnar Hökmark, rapporteur. – Mr President, I would like to thank the Commissioner and not only the shadow rapporteurs, but all of those who have participated in this debate. I think there are mainly two lines that have been presented here.

Some think that we can solve the problems by spending more and ignoring the fact that sometimes there is no more money to spend. Some underlined the need for fiscal stability and structural reforms. This goes rather broad, because in the agreement in the report we see the need for balancing some of those. But I would like to warn against those who always say that someone else has the responsibility when it does not go well in a certain Member State. It is not about good luck. It is about good reforms, good management and good governance. Sometimes, I would like not least the friends over there, but maybe also the friends over there, to think whether we are doing as well as we can.

Commissioner, I think that some of the good news that we can take from this debate is the fact that we are not doing as well as we can. We can do much better. We can set the targets for higher growth. Each Member State should have the target of a potential growth of at least three percent and make the reforms that can provide the jobs, the growth and the investment that can give Europe a lead. I think it is time for us not only to take action, but also time to take responsibility. That applies to all of us – none less and none more – but we all need to have the courage to make the reforms we need for a stronger Europe.

 
  
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  Przewodniczący. – Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się we czwartek 26 października 2017 r.

 
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