08 Jan 2014
Stand-up Chris Burns on The European Parliament has launched a series of factfinding missions to European countries that are still struggling from the financial crisis. They're looking into complaints the so-called Troika that is overseeing the bailouts and restructuring have failed to show enough transparency and flexibility. Otmar Karas is a vice president of the European Parliament and a member of the EPP Group. Mr. Karas, you just got back from a mission to Portugal. What did you see?
Interview Othmar Karas, Austrian MEP, on And I will go tomorrow to Cyprus. We are visiting as delegation of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, all four states where the Troika is working: Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland. This trip was a success.
Chris on What have you seen so far?
Karas on It was very helpful. What is the problem? The problem is the Troika and some other instruments are interim solutions. They are not based on Community law. That's intergovernmental institutions, and it is the role of the European Parliament to say very clear: no European decisions without the European Parliament as the chamber of the citizens. And that is why we are going to the member states because we will have a public debate about the experience, the work, and we will propose conclusions and proposals for the future.
Chris on That could take some time. What do you think could be done now to address the issue?
Interview Karas on We need a balance, more than we have, between the fiscal consolidation, structural reforms, and incentives for growth and employment. That is our social model in the European Union. For that we need time. For that we need European instruments. For that we need a better and more efficient Europe. For that we need more responsibility and solidarity, and for that we need a treaty change.
Chris on What do you think can be done in time before the European Parliament elections in May?
Interview Karas on We started this report, we'll finish in March. We' will decide in the plenary our conclusions and that is, I hope so, a good basis for the work of the next parliament and for the preparation of the constitutional committee to prepare a convention and a treaty change.
Headline EU treaty change needed to address Troika controversy
Description The EU needs to change its governing treaty to tackle economic crisis in a more balanced way, promoting growth while enforcing fiscal responsibility, says Parliament Vice President Othmar Karas. A member of the EPP Group, Karas says the treaty should give more power to the European Parliament to have a say in taking crisis measures. Karas is part of parliament factfinding missions that began in Portugal and continue this week in Cyprus and Greece before going on to Ireland.
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