PR: Henrike Hahn, MEP on the Economic policies of the euro area 2021

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs rejected today by 32 votes against and 26 in favour of the own initiative Report on “Economic policies of the euro area 2021”.

MEP Henrike Hahn, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on this report, welcomes the outcome of this vote and comments as follows:

“For us Greens the European Semester plays a crucial role in coordinating economic, social and budgetary policies in the Member States. However the report as it was presented for the vote today fails short of our expectations.

The Semester Process should be further aligned with the EU’s long-term climate, environmental and societal objectives. Climate change risks represent macro-critical threats to financial and fiscal systems and we must ensure that macro-critical aspects of climate change need to be incorporated into EU enhanced surveillance. Unfortunately, this was not reflected in this report. We have therefore decided to vote it down.

While we welcome that the general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact will continue to be applied in 2022, I expect that it will remain activated as long as the underlying justification of the activation exists in order to support the Member States to recover from the pandemic.

In my view the decision to deactivate the general escape clause should be taken as an overall assessment of the state of the economy, social and employment situation based on quantitative and qualitative criteria.

Proper and credible economic governance framework is a necessary requirement for sustainable fiscal policies. A premature application of the current fiscal rules under the Stability and Growth Pact would jeopardise both the post-Covid recovery and the transition to a carbon neutral and sustainable economy.

A premature withdrawal of fiscal stimulus and the lack of coordination of fiscal action can exacerbate already existing divergences in the Eurozone and thus undermine its integrity.”

My Team and I are at your disposal for any additional information.

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