Today, the European Commissionannounced its legislative package for economic governance, which contains the most comprehensive reinforcement of economic governance in the EU and the euro area since the launch of the Economic and Monetary Union. This announcement follows the recent statement made by the President of the European Council that the Task Force on Economic Governance met to discuss steps that must be taken to enhance economic governance.
The legislative package consists of six pieces of legislation: four proposals deal with fiscal issues, including "a wide-ranging reform of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP)," and two others would "aim at detecting and addressing emerging macroeconomic imbalances within the EU and the euro area." The four fiscal proposals include: (1) an amendment to the SGP which would base monitoring of public finances on the new concept of "prudent fiscal-policy making"; (2) an amendment to the SGP to put debt developments on "equal footing with deficit developments"; (3) a regulation on budgetary surveillance in the euro area that will create additional enforcement procedures in the SGP; and (4) a new directive that includes a framework of minimum budgetary requirements for member states. The two other proposals would "detail a set of gradual sanctions for non-compliant Member States, including non-interest bearing deposits which would be converted to fines in the event of repeated non-compliance," and create a new "reverse voting mechanism" where an EC proposal regarding fines imposed on non-compliant Member States "would be considered adopted unless the Council overturns it by a qualified majority."
The legislative package of proposals will now be now examined by the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee.