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Europe

Commission wants EU states to submit their budgets for ‘review’

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-12

The European Commission sought unprecedented power to pre-vet member state's national budgets before they are implemented. Sweden has already indicated it opposes the proposed "peer reviews".

AFP - The European Commission on Wednesday proposed that European countries submit their national budgets to Brussels for "peer review" before they go to their national parliaments.
   
"An early peer (review) of fiscal policies would help shape a fiscal stance for the EU and the euro area as a whole," a commission statement said.
   
"A synchronised assessment and coordination of both fiscal and structural policies at European level would help the member states to pursue common objectives and address joint challenges more efficiently than presently (is) the case."
   
"The package concerns the whole EU but this specific proposal has more bite concerning the euro area countries," EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told a press conference.
   
His spokesman confirmed to AFP that the plans would apply to all 27 European Union members, thereby creating an early headache for new British Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.
   
Under the terms of a power-sharing agreement struck with the Liberal-Democrat party, a key Conservative demand was that any further transfer of powers from Britain to Europe must be approved by a referendum.
   
Britain jealously guards its fiscal sovereignty and its eurosceptics will see this as the latest example of Brussels seeking to encroach on the British parliament's territory.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said Wednesday he opposed  the proposed controls, saying it was "strange" they should concern countries with good public finances like Sweden.

Date created : 2010-05-12

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