Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-03-09-Speech-3-079-000"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, it would not be an exaggeration to say that this is an historic time in the process of Europe-building. The economic crisis has made it clear that the single currency needs real European economic governance and, for the first time, significant and innovative steps are being taken in this direction. At the same time, we are seeing a dangerous trend of giving this new governance an intergovernmental flavour, which not only risks threatening the institutional structure of the European Union, but also making the new mechanisms ineffective. Hence, the permanent stability mechanism is an issue of symbolic and central importance. Indeed, on the one hand, the establishment of a permanent stability mechanism represents a decisive and important step forwards. Parliament supports this decision, although it is important to stress that it must not rule out the possibility of using extraordinary solidarity mechanisms, such as those based on Article 122, which are currently in use. On the other hand, if the establishment of a permanent mechanism is therefore positive, the European Council has chosen to create a purely intergovernmental mechanism, thereby denying in a unique manner the European institutions any role, including in the procedure leading up to its establishment. Amongst other things, this could stir up disputes during the ratification process about the appropriateness of a simplified procedure, given that it is hardly in doubt that cutting back the competences of the European Union would require an ordinary revision procedure. Furthermore, since the treaty states two clear things; that the monetary policy of the Member States whose currency is the euro is an exclusive competence of the European Union, and that the Member States must coordinate their economic policy within the framework of the Union, as the treaty states, a mechanism that operates completely outside the European Union’s institutional structure would scarcely be compatible with these principles and would therefore result in a reduction of the European Union’s powers, which would not be compatible with a simplified revision procedure. This problem could also be raised by a number of national parliaments during the ratification procedure which, as we know, will be a complicated and risky process. Likewise for this reason, Parliament would have preferred a different, more institutionally appropriate and less politically risky procedure, such as Article 352, either alone or in combination with Article 136. The report sets all this out in black and white, but we preferred to concentrate on the substance rather than on procedures so as to reach a realistic yet determined approach. The central point is that the permanent stability fund will be created by the Member States because that is what they decided, but it may also lay the foundations for a new structure lying outside the EU institutions or it might be an intergovernmental wagon within a European Union train, travelling down the tracks of European law. Parliament wants to make a contribution because we are following the latter of these two paths. Hence, we asked in our report for two conditions to be respected: the proposal for an amendment must be redrafted so that the establishment of the mechanism’s distribution is somehow placed within an EU procedure, or that the EU institutions are heavily involved in the practical implementation of the mechanism and, above all, in defining the conditionality measures. What principles and rules should be established for providing assistance? Who shall establish them and how? For this, we need a regulation with an ordinary legislative procedure and we are waiting to consult with the European Council and the Member States on these issues."@en1

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