The European Parliament has concluded its preliminary inquiry on the role of the Troika (European Commission, ECB and IMF) in the financial crisis. MEPs will now conclude their report and suggest ways to improve future bailout programmes.
"The Troika has been an interim solution, which was necessary and right. But for the future we need long-term solutions," said Othmar Karas (EPP, Austria). "We will propose an instrument to organise solidarity in Europe, which will be based on Community law," he said at a press conference in Athens, on 30 January, after a two-day visit to Greece.
A delegation of seven MEPs also travelled to Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus to meet with the national authorities, social partners and other stakeholders involved in the programmes. The legislators also held parliamentary hearings with top officials of the Troika institutions.
Over the last two months, since the start of the inquiry, MEPs have come to an agreement on the need to increase the transparency and accountability of the future rescue programmes. "The European Parliament pushes for more transparency, legitimacy and democratic control of the Troika,", said Karas. However, the rapporteurs need to find a common ground on how to phase out the Troika, and who should take over.
"We will find a compromise on a proposal," co-rapporteur Liem Hoang Ngoc (S&D, France) told Europolitics. The groups are now working on amendments ahead of the scheduled 24 February vote in the Committee on Economic Affairs (ECON). It is not yet known if the plenary will vote on the report in March or April, just before the chamber dissolves ahead of the May European elections.
Hoang Ngoc described the draft version of the report as a "good text". The document warns of the "negative impact" of the Troika's recommendations on citizens' rights and the overall political situation in the programme countries; the over-optimistic assumptions of the measures; or the conflicts of interest within the Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) while acting as Troika members. Looking ahead, the text recommends the transformation of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a Community instrument and to place ita at the heart of future rescue programmes.
The French Socialist MEP highlighted the delegation's meeting in Athens with Panagiotis Roumeliotis, former...