The Fiscal Compact and the European Stability Treaty may still have obstacles to overcome before they fully enter into force across the signatory Member States, but the Fiscal Compact has its origins in the six-packof legislation adopted last year by the European Parliament and Council. That the Parliament had a full and equal say over the substance of the Fiscal Compact as EU legislation shows that it’s come a long way from the stereotype of the cross-border talking shop and it now decides on big ticket European issues.
The six-pack hasn’t marked the end of Eurozone legislation however, with a two-pack being introduced at the end of 2011. The two-pack consists of a proposed regulation for the Eurozone on the monitoring and assessing of draft budgetary plans under the excessive deficit procedure (PDF), and a proposed regulation on the strengthening of economic and budgetary surveillance of Member States experiencing serious difficulties in financial stability (PDF). I’ll just call these the “Excessive Deficit Regulation” and “Financial Stability Regulation” respectively for short. Both proposals would increase the Commission’s role in Member States’ fiscal affairs.
The European Parliament has voted on reports on these proposals in Committee stage, but the Socialists and Democrats Group abstained from the report votes after they failed to delay the vote (they wanted to revisit the provisions after the French elections). The votes were close enough that the Committee referred the reports to plenary to gauge political support in the EP as a whole.
In the following blog posts I’ll look at each proposal in turn and the Parliamentary reports: