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Parliamentary questions
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7 May 2020
Priority question for written answer
to the Council
Rule 138
Antonio Maria Rinaldi (ID), Marco Campomenosi (ID), Marco Zanni (ID)
 Subject: Sovereign debt ratings

State credit ratings are established unilaterally by a handful of private consulting agencies, operating as an oligopoly, that are not subject to EU jurisdiction and are often plagued by serious conflicts of interest.

Numerous studies, including by the ECB, and legal opinions confirm that these agencies often provide untimely and inaccurate assessments of actual creditworthiness.

The ratings are calculated without any right of the other party to be heard and are incorporated into the decision-making processes of many European bodies without any verification, contrary to the procedure followed for all the indicators used in excessive deficit procedures (EDP) and macroeconomic imbalance procedures (MIP), which are validated by Eurostat or the ECB.

The financial stability of the Union would be seriously harmed by an incorrect assessment of issuers which could lead to ratings below a certain investment grade threshold, which would subsequently have negative implications for market stability.

In the light of the above, can the Council answer the following questions:

1. Does he not agree that there is an urgent need to set up a European rating agency to collect 'consensus' data from independent European universities and research centres, calculated using transparent methods?

2. Does he not think that legal value should be given to the current ratings only once they have been validated by independent public institutional bodies?

Original language of question: IT
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