APPENDIX 3: CALL FOR EVIDENCE |
The House of Lords EU Economic and Financial Affairs
and International Trade Sub-Committee, chaired by Lord Harrison,
is conducting an inquiry into the future of economic governance
in Europe. We invite you to contribute evidence to this inquiry.
The Commission has outlined proposals for reinforcing
economic stability, based on greater economic coordination in
the European Union, while Herman Van Rompuy, President of the
Council, is chairing a task force on economic governance which
is considering crisis resolution arrangements, budgetary discipline
and divergences in competitiveness between Member States. It is
expected that legislative proposals and non-legislated agreements
will be brought forward on these issues throughout 2011.
The Committee recognises that the stability and economic
health of the Eurozone is vital to the UK's economy. It will therefore
explore economic governance as it applies to the Eurozone, as
well as to the EU as a whole.
The aim of our inquiry is to inform the debate on
the future of economic governance in Europe, and to provide an
opinion in advance of any proposals that may be put forward in
Particular questions raised to which we invite
you to respond are as follows (there is no need for individual
submissions to deal with all of the issues):
Lessons from the Eurozone crisis
What flaws has the recent fiscal crisis in Europe
exposed in the existing system of economic governance? In particular,
what lessons have been learned about:
- statistics and their use in monitoring Member
- the interpretation and application of the Stability
and Growth Pact;
- crisis management systems; and
- macro-economic and competitiveness imbalances
amongst Member States?
Economic co-ordination and governance
What should be the objectives of economic coordination
in the EU? Specifically, to what extent is greater economic coordination
necessary or desirable for economic stability in the EU and the
Should greater coordination be sought across the
full EU, or simply within the Eurozone? What might be the implications
for the UK of separate economic governance measures within the
Eurozone? What are the implications for the UK of the potential
development of Eurozone-only institutions, such as the "Eurogroup
To what degree should economic governance be guided
by political discretion as opposed to rules? Could enhanced EU-level
political oversight of macroeconomic policy possibly lead to some
form of 'economic government'? What is in the UK's national interest
in relation to the reform of economic governance? How might a
reform of economic governance in Europe affect the role of national
parliaments and governments?
The Commission's proposals and Van Rompuy's task
force have been concentrating on four areas in particular:
The Stability and Growth Pact
- What sort of reforms might be necessary to the
Stability and Growth Pact?
- Should the level of public debt be of higher
importance when considering how to achieve fiscal discipline?
- Should the level of private debt be monitored?
- Should there be a procedure for combating excessive
debt and other facets of fiscal sustainability, such as unfunded
obligations associated with an ageing population?
- What sort of sanctions should be available under
the Stability and Growth Pact, and when should they be applied?
Should the withdrawal of voting rights in Council or withholding
EU structural funds be available as sanctions?
Surveillance of macroeconomic imbalances and competitiveness
- Is there a need for stronger macro-economic surveillance?
- Should there be changes to multilateral budget
- What role should the broad economic policy guidelines
play in the surveillance of macroeconomic imbalances and competitiveness?
- Should the power to issue policy warnings and
recommendations to Member States whose policies are not consistent
with the broad economic policy guidelines be used more extensively?
Coordination of fiscal and structural policies
- Should EU institutions have any say over national
budgets? What role should the European Central Bank play?
- What should be the link between the Stability
and Growth Pact and the Europe 2020 strategy? What might be the
advantages of a European Semester?
- What measures might be used to reduce competitiveness
imbalances between Member States, and what role might Europe 2020
Crisis resolution mechanism
- Should there be a permanent crisis resolution
mechanism? How should it be funded, and would it require Treaty
change or the creation of new institutions such as a European
- What role should the International Monetary Fund
or European Central Bank have?
- How might a permanent crisis resolution mechanism
be set up to avoid the issue of moral hazard?
- Should the UK have participated in the European
Financial Stability Facility (the special purpose vehicle funded
by Eurozone members with contributions from Poland and Sweden)?
What might be the repercussions if the UK does not participate
in a permanent crisis resolution mechanism in the future?
We also would welcome your views on any other aspect
of the Commission's proposals and the issues being confronted
by the Van Rompuy task force. Written submissions need not address
Interested parties are invited to submit a concise
statement of written evidence to this inquiry by Friday 24 September