Within the framework of the European Semester, the European Commission has today published its assessment of EU Member States’ reform efforts. As a key pillar of these so-called “Country Reports”, the Commission has scrutinized Member States, which have caused macroeconomic imbalances and thereby contribute to the destabilization of the Eurozone. These “In-Depth Reviews” form the basis for potential the “Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure”. The Commission may trigger this next step, if the In-Depth Reviews conclude that Member States cause excessive imbalances and thus jeopardize the functioning of the Eurozone. In addition, the Country Reports cover the macroeconomic and social situation of the Member States as well as the implementation of the Country-Specific Recommendations from the previous year. Moreover, the Country Reports take stock of the budgetary situation of Member States..
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“The EU Commission is using double standards. When it comes to the breaking of rules, the EU Commission treats Germany more lenient than Italy or France. While Italy is facing toughened austerity measures, the EU Commission is reluctant to start a procedure against Germany. The special treatment of Germany evoques a discomfort in Europe. It nourishes the reproach of a German Europe. If the EU Commission consistently applied its own rules, it would have to initiate proceedings against Germany’s high export surplus, which threatens the proper functioning of the Economic and Monetary Union. The European Commission’s unequal treatment of countries damages cohesion in Europe.
Yet because of benevolent self-interest, Germany should increase its spending on investment and specifically raise low wages. This improves the living conditions in Germany, instead of pushing our partner countries further into debt. Conversely, France and Italy, must intensify their economic reform efforts geared towards social and environmental sustainability.”
Please find further information on the European Semester Winter Package here:
Please find the European Commission’s latest Country Report on Germany here: https://ec.europa.eu/info/file/96680/download_en?token=nd9QlBAW
Please find the Country-Specific Recommendations for Germany of the last European Semester Process (2016), as proposed by the Commission and voted by the Council, here: