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Parliamentary questions
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18 June 2013
Question for written answer P-007071-13
to the Commission
Rule 117
Zuzana Roithová (PPE)

 Subject:  Student loan guarantee conditions for the ‘Erasmus for All’ programme
 Answer in writing 

The Commission has proposed a student loan guarantee facility for the ‘Erasmus for All’ programme amounting to EUR 880 million. This could potentially have a very positive effect, helping students who would not otherwise have had access to appropriate funding to finance their studies abroad. However, the draft regulation does not contain explicit or detailed information on the guarantee mechanism, i.e. on the conditions governing how the banks will manage the hundreds of millions of euros entrusted to them without engaging in wasteful spending, for instance on administrative transactions. Entrusting public funds to banks is unacceptable under a general mandate; rather, absolutely transparent rules must be put in place. The impact study only contains brief, general references to this issue, and it fails to provide an exhaustive overview of how the system would be set up and how it would be monitored effectively.

What criteria will the Commission and the European Investment Bank prescribe for the student loan guarantee scheme for the ‘Erasmus for All’ programme?

What stringent conditions will the banks selected through public tender procedures be required to fulfil, with a view to preventing the wasteful spending of public funds through the loan guarantee scheme?

Who will be responsible for ensuring that the funds are used appropriately and repaid: the Member State, the European Investment Bank or the chosen national banks?

How does the Commission intend to ensure Parliament’s involvement in, and effective supervision of, the implementation of the loan guarantee scheme?

What is the anticipated impact of unpaid student loans on the EU budget, or more precisely, what is the predicted capacity of university students to make repayments?

Under this scheme, the EU will help banks to gain thousands of new customers; is the scheme not, therefore, a form of forbidden public aid that undermines competition by giving the chosen banks an undue advantage over their competitors?

Original language of question: CSOJ C 81 E, 20/03/2014
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