“Brussels wins new powers to supervise national budgets”, writes Les Echos, in the wake of the agreement concluded between member states and the European Parliament. The “two pack”, as it has been dubbed in Brussels, will enable the Commission evaluate member state budgets and to recommend adjustments. For the business daily, the measure adds “the final touch to the new European governance”.
The “two pack”, which is set to come into force by the summer, is more “intrusive” than preceding texts, explains Les Echos —
From now on, national governments will have to present plans for next year’s budgets to Brussels before they are examined by their own parliaments. The Commission will then have the option of issuing an opinion, but not of imposing a veto. […] If its recommendations are not taken into account, the Commission can always threaten to slap financial sanctions on countries with excessive deficits.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung underlines that on the same occasion, the Commission announced that in the coming months it would examine the introduction of eurobonds and means to share the debt of eurozone countries. Finally, notes the German daily, the decision on the “two pack” —
is in tune with the fiscal compact that has long been endorsed by Europe’s heads of state, but [it] is clearer and easier to apply. The second regulation in the package lays down more stringent rules for countries that are receiving assistance or are in difficulty. These countries will now be subject to “more extensive surveillance” by the European Commission and the ECB. It also provides for direct technical assistance, like the establishment of a task force, along the lines of the one deployed in the Greek crisis.