Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-06-22-Speech-3-173-000"

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"Mr President, President-in-Office of the Council, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to make three groups of points on behalf of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. The first is that as we adopt this economic governance package, we must ensure that the whole of the Treaty of Lisbon is taken into account. According to the Treaty, taking into consideration objectives concerned with promoting a high level of employment, guaranteeing adequate social welfare and combating social exclusion is a cross-cutting aim that applies to this economic governance package also. If I may say so, I sometimes get the impression that this aim has been relegated to a secondary priority. This is why the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs was keen for the whole package to be based not only on Article 121 of the Treaty, which deals with the coordination of economic policies, but on Article 148 also, which deals with employment policy in terms of coordination between the responsibilities of Member States and the European level. This is also why we feel that within the Union, the role of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) must be firmly guaranteed, on a par with that of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin). For if – and this brings me to my second group of points – in revising the Stability and Growth Pact our only objective is the kind of governance that will satisfy the rating agencies, then we will be missing an important opportunity in the history of our economic and monetary union. History calls us today to take a much more overall view and to look closely at the purposes for which this economic governance is being put in place. Of course we need to reduce debt, but we also need to ensure that this economic governance helps to guarantee the success of the Europe 2020 strategy. In this respect, we believe there are other approaches that could have been used. Commissioner, why is it that only spending on pensions can be given special treatment in your assessment of Member States’ medium-term budget objectives? Why is it that this special treatment cannot also be given to the investment in the future represented by spending on education, or the spending we need to undertake to combat social exclusion, a goal that you set and that we included in the Europe 2020 strategy? Why is it that these aims and this kind of approach are not also applied to spending on research and development or infrastructures? My third group of points relates to how macroeconomic surveillance is conducted. We consider it to be an essential outcome of this package, but this means it must be applied symmetrically. Ultimately, for us here in the European Parliament, there is a fundamental issue at stake. Mrs Ford spoke of it as a power struggle. It is not a power struggle, it is a question of democracy. If we want there to be European economic governance, there needs to be a space for public debate and for European democracy, in order for this European economic policy to work. In this respect, I have to say that your refusal and that of the Council to allow the European Parliament to participate in establishing macroeconomic indicators through delegated acts does not seem to me to be the right approach."@en1

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