The European Council summit in Brussels on 25 March stated that EU leaders “consider that the European Council should become the economic government of the EU and we propose to increase its role in economic surveillance and the definition of the EU’s growth strategy.”
Now Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn has said that the Commission is to present plans next month which would see eurozone governments submit their national budgets to the EU for approval before national parliaments see them.
He said, “We should use the first months of the year, say January to July, to request draft national budgets…so that the commission would analyse and the eurogroup [of euro area finance ministers] would make a peer review and recommendations on national budgets, before they are presented to national parliaments.”
German Social Democrat MP Carsten Schneider said if the Bundestag were to give up its budget autonomy, “this would be the end of parliamentary democracy as we have known it so far”.
Paying for it
BRITAIN’S contribution to the EU keeps increasing. Last year’s budget called for Britain to give £5.6 billion this year, but that has gone up to £6.4 billion, more than twice what we gave last year. This will rise to £7.6 billion in 2010/11.
Propping up Greece
The eurozone countries have announced a deal to loan Greece 30 billion euros, at below market interest rates. The details and timing are unclear, but the deal is clearly a subsidy. The EU is desperately trying to maintain the fiction that this does not breach the EU’s own “no-bail-out” clause.
Erik Nielsen, a European economist at Goldman Sachs, warned that the scale of the “adjustment” that the EU is telling Greece to make is unprecedented in any European economy.
They’re after our pensions
Although the EU is only supposed to play a limited role in social policy, the European Commission wants to specify a framework for pension systems in EU member states. The EU plans a Green Paper on this in June.