With a vote on the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic Affairs and Monetary’s (ECON) second own-initiative report on the European Semester imminent, a dialogue between MEPs and the Chairs of Finance committees in member states’ own national parliaments is set to take place in Brussels this afternoon.

Ahead of the dialogue which will discuss structural reforms and the fiscal stance that will be implemented in member states as part of the Semester, GUE/NGL MEP and shadow rapporteur on the Semester’s ‘Implementation of 2016 priorities’, Paloma López Bermejo, has criticised the framework as undemocratic and hypocritical:

“We don’t believe it’s possible to make the economic governance framework more democratic. The whole thing was created to pursue neoliberal reforms in member states where popular resistance against such a framework would have been the strongest. Unfortunately, such reforms have largely succeeded in this regard.”

“This economic framework doesn’t in any way preserve social rights. Instead, it promotes job insecurity, low wages and privatisation. It’s simply hypocritical to pretend otherwise”, added the Spanish MEP.

“We also hear a lot about ‘state ownership’ in these reforms. Yet, for Spain and Portugal who haven’t abided by EU deficit rules, the policies put forward by the European agenda completely undermines national sovereignty and democracy.”

“Indeed, the Spanish government has bypassed even its own national parliament to present new budgetary cuts to the European Commission! That is a blatant disregard of the most fundamental elements of a democratic procedure,” concluded López Bermejo.

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