Parliament pushes Commission into driving seat

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Parliament pushes Commission into driving seat

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The four main political groupings in the European parliament have told the European Commission it’s time to stir itself and propose ideas for the EU’s economic governance.

Conservatives, Socialists, Liberals and the Greens all agree the Commission needs to regain control of the debate on economic safeguards, regulation and development. Many say states have been driving the process forward, and many dislike the way intergovernmental initiatives have intruded on what should be the Commission’s turf.

“More and more the European Council is becoming a sort of European government driven by states, or a Franco-German axis,” said the Socialist’s Martin Schulz.

Parliament says the Commission must be more pro-active;

“We need the screening by the EU of the national budgets before the final approval by the Parliaments, we need more powers for Eurostat,” said Liberal Democrat Alliance leader Guy Verhofstadt.

Many criticised the Commission for failing to propose policies for a common budget or economic co-ordination;

“European citizens are waiting for us to end the contradictions that are making victims out of us all. If some member states use stimulus policies while others squeeze their budgets, we are incoherent. Europe will grind to a halt, growth will grind to a halt, and unemployment will rise and purchasing power will fall,” said the European People’s party Alain Lamassoure.

Many argue only a stronger Europe can tackle the financial markets. The parliament has now urged the Commission and its president to step into the breach.