European Parliament blocks adoption of Fiscal Compact into permanent EU law
Sinn Féin MEPs Matt Carthy and Liadh Ní Riada have welcomed today’s vote in the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee, in which an attempt to elevate the rules of the Fiscal Compact – an intergovernmental treaty – into EU secondary law was defeated. The result on the vote was tied at 25-25, meaning the proposal fell.
Carthy, a member of the ECON committee, said: “Finally the European Parliament has taken a stand against the EU’s drive for enshrining the rules of austerity permanently into EU law.
“As MEPs face the prospect of campaigning for their re-election in the coming months, some are beginning to take a different stance on the deeply unpopular austerity policies that their constituents have suffered from.
“The Fiscal Compact is an economic straitjacket that prevents EU member states from boosting public spending as required during a downturn by imposing one-size-fits-all rules on debt and deficits that are just not suitable for all occasions.
“The Parliament is only being consulted under the consultation procedure on this vote, instead of the ordinary legislative procedure in which the Parliament is a co-legislator. Additionally, this report calls for the Council to vote on this proposal using a qualified majority procedure instead of by unanimity.
“It is unclear exactly what will happen now following the failure of this report, but the ECON committee is seeking legal advice. I sincerely hope that – however this proposal resurfaces in the European Parliament – MEPs will stand up once more and say no to permanent austerity.
Liadh Ní Riada, who took part in the vote as a proxy for a GUE/NGL MEP, also commented: “The Fiscal Compact was signed as an inter-governmental treaty in 2010, and the states that signed up to it have been bound by these rules, meaning that governments have their hands tied behind their backs.
“To put these rules permanently into EU law across the board is nonsensical, so I welcome the fact that the attempt by conservative groups in the European Parliament to endorse this proposal has failed.” ENDS