Page last updated at 10:07 GMT, Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Debate on Economic and Monetary Union

MEPs have been warned that the current economic crisis in the eurozone is leading to a "democratic crisis".

Dutch liberal MEP Sophie In 't Veld was speaking during a debate on 20 November 2012 on a report by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee into deepening Economic and Monetary Union.

The report is the European Parliament's participation in work being done by all the EU institutions in deepening economic union, as a response to the debt crisis.

But Ms In 't Veld warned that the EU was taking decisions in an "increasingly undemocratic way". She said that democratic legitimacy, by giving more scrutiny and legislative powers in the field of economic policy to the European Parliament, was a pre-condition for solving the economic crisis.

The report says there should be greater accountability for EU economic policies, such as giving a greater role to national parliaments and the European Parliament.

Italian socialist MEP Roberto Gualtieri said economic and monetary union needed to be created on a political basis, with European institutions having more powers.

"We want genuine, democratic EU governance," he concluded.

But Ukip MEP Marta Andreasen dismissed the report as a "cry for help by the European Parliament for more relevance".

She said that giving more powers to a banking supervision mechanism would lead to more staff, even more money, and even less powers for national supervisors.

"More Europe simply makes a deep hole much deeper," she added.

There is a call for new reforms including improving tax co-ordination.

The European Commission is expected to publish a "roadmap" on EMU in December.

Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, has urged the Economic Affairs Commissioner to have a stronger role in regulating national budgets to avoid excessive debts being built up.

At the last summit of EU leaders, it was agreed that a banking supervisor for the eurozone would be set up in 2013, giving the European Central Bank the power to intervene in any of the eurozone's 6,000 banks.

The parliament's report was adopted by 482 votes to 160 at the daily voting session later in the day.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.

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