Sven Giegold
Mitglied der Grünen/EFA-Fraktion im Europaparlament

Sprecher Europagruppe Grüne
„Kommt, wir bauen das neue Europa!“

Wirtschaftsausschuss beschließt mit breiter Mehrheit positive Stellungnahme zu Eurobonds

ECON draft motion for a resolution

on the feasibility of introducing stability bonds 

Voted with broad majority in the ECON committee on the 20th November 2011

 

– having regard to the presentations of Vice-President Rehn in the ECON committee on 23 November 2011 and of the exchange of views with the German Council of Economic Experts on the European redemption fund on 29 November 2011; 

– having regard to President Van Rompuy’s Interim Report: Towards a Stronger Economic Union on 6 December 2011; 

B. whereas the euro zone is in a unique situation, with eurozone Member States sharing a single currency without a common fiscal policy and a single bond market; whereas the issuance of bonds with joint and several liability would require a process of deeper integration; 

-1a. Welcomes the presentation of the Green Paper, which fulfils a long standing request of the European Parliament, and considers it a useful starting point for further considerations; Is open-minded and eager to actively discuss all issues, both strengths and weaknesses, relating to the feasibility of introducing Stability Bonds under different options; encourages the Commission to further deepen its analysis after a broad public debate to which the European Parliament and national parliaments should contribute as well as the ECB, if it deems it appropriate; considers none of the three options presented by the Commission to be a response per se to the current sovereign debt crisis; 

-1b. Is deeply concerned by the continuous strains on the euro area sovereign bonds markets reflected in widening spreads, high volatility and vulnerability to speculative attacks over the last two years; 

1. Believes that the euro area as the issuer of the world’s second international currency is co-responsible for the stability of the international monetary system; 

2. Stresses that it is in the strategic long term interest of the eurozone and of its Member States to draw all possible benefits from issuing the euro, which has the potential of becoming  a global reserve currency; 

3. Notes in particular that the US Treasury market and the total euro-area sovereign bond markets are comparable in size but not in terms of liquidity, diversity, and pricing; points out that it could be in the interest of the eurozone to develop a common liquid and diversified bond market, and that after a stability culture has been credibly established in the euro area, a market of Stability Bonds could offer a viable alternative to the US dollar bond market and establish the euro as a global ‘safe haven’; 

3a. Draws the attention to the fact that Stability Bonds would be different from bonds issued by federal states such as the U.S.A. and Germany and therefore cannot strictly be compared to U.S. treasury bonds and Bundesanleihen; 

4. Believes also that the euro area and its Member States are responsible for ensuring the long term stability of the currency used by more than 330 million people, many companies and investors, and which indirectly affects the rest of the world; 

4a. Takes note that in the Commission’s assessment, which is part of the Commission Green Paper on the feasibility of introducing Stability Bonds, stability bonds would facilitate the transmission of euro-area monetary policy and would promote efficiency in the bond market and in the broader euro-area financial system; 

5. Reiterates its position that as a necessary precondition for a common issuance of bonds a sustainable fiscal framework needs to be in place, aimed at both enhanced economic governance and economic growth in the euro area, that sequencing is a key issue involving a binding roadmap, similar with the Maastricht criteria for introducing the single currency, and drawing all the lessons thereof; 

9a (new). Considers that the objectives underlying the decisions taken at the European Council of 8-9 December 2011 to further enhance the sustainability of public finances also contribute to creating the necessary conditions for the possible introduction of stability bonds; 

7. Believes that Stability Bonds could be an additional element to incentivise compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact provided they address the moral hazard and joint liability issues; Notes that further work needs to be undertaken as regards the options presented in the Green Paper on issues such as;

–  effective market incentives to reduce debt levels;

– entry and exit criteria, conditionality agreements, maturity agreements, redistribution of funding benefits for the present AAA countries;

– a system of differentiation of the interest rates between Member states with divergent ratings;

–  budgetary discipline and an increase in competitiveness;

– pro-cyclical and debt-deflationary effects;

– sufficient attractiveness for market investors, while containing or avoiding over-collateralisation and redistribution of risks across countries;

– the seniority of eurobonds over national bonds in the event of a default of a Member state on its debt,;

– the criteria of allocation of the loans to the Member States and the capacity to service the debt;

– measurable and enforceable programmes of debt;

– the modalities of a binding roadmap, similar with the Maastricht criteria for introducing the single currency;

– the interaction with the EFSF/ESM for those Member states which experience liquidity problems;

– appropriate legal requirements, including Treaty and constitutional changes; 

8. Believes that the prospect of Stability Bonds could foster stability in the euro area in the medium term; calls, however, on the Commission to come forward rapidly with proposals to decisively address the current  sovereign debt crisis, such as the European redemption pact proposed by the German Council of Economic Experts and/or the finalization and ratification of an ESM treaty and/or eurobills as well as joint management of sovereign debt issuance; 

9. Points out that this resolution constitutes a preliminary response to the Commission Green Paper which will be followed by a more comprehensive resolution in the form of an INI Report.