Page last updated at 20:57 GMT, Monday, 14 January 2013

Commission urged to bring in eurobonds

On 15 January 2012, MEPs debated a report by the French liberal MEP Sylvie Goulard that calls on the European Commission to bring forward plans to introduce eurobonds, despite opposition from countries including Germany and the Netherlands.

Bonds are a promissary by governments to pay back a debt at a fixed rate of interest over a specific period.

Government bonds have traditionally been seen as ultra-safe long-term investments and are held by pension funds, insurance companies and banks, as well as private investors. They are a vital way for countries to raise funds.

A eurobond would operate in exactly the same way as a government bond, except that all eurozone governments would collectively guarantee the debt rather than a single government.

Germany has said there should be no pooling of debt until there is full fiscal and political union in the eurozone.

Ms Goulard's report says a temporary debt redemption fund should be set up before any treaty change is drawn up.

The vote on the report will take place during the voting session from 11am on 16 January 2013.

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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