Madam President, I would like first to thank Roberto Gualtieri for his topical contribution and I agree with him, but we still know that today technically the Eurogroup is not a formal entity within the EU. However, its impact and hard decisions are really heavy, especially for Member States in the special macroeconomic consolidation programme. It controls areas that do not belong to the full competence of the EU, such as taxation, budgetary policy, the public sector, employment, or even health policy regulations. In the case of Greece, for example, the Eurogroup replaces the European Semester, as you all know, and also the Stability and Growth Pact, by imposing hard rules through the blurred and questionable method of soft loan.
What is the limit of these hard policies created by the Eurogroup’s soft loan policy? Who sets the limits, and where and when are we going to discuss the content and also evaluate the effects of these policies? Shouldn’t the European Parliament have the answers? It seems that for the euro area to institutionalise its functioning within the European economic governance framework, the Council’s recommendation indeed makes an important step forward, but much more should be done in order to form the environment of legitimacy for the euro area’s economic decision-making, and this should be crystal clear. There is no path to recovery and macroeconomic policy without the political consent and transparency that only the European Parliament can provide.