Deutsche Welle reports that European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn will today outline plans to strengthen the EU’s power to monitor national budgets in the eurozone. However, it is still unclear what level of supervision non-eurozone countries will be subject to.
“We want governments to send their budget outlines to Brussels for review before they are approved by their national parliaments,” Rehn said, according to Die Zeit. “We can then see early whether a country is adhering to the Stability and Growth Pact. If not, we would intervene,” he added. Handelsblatt reports on leaked information that the Commission is planning to introduce a “European budget semester”, which would mean that in the first half of the year all eurozone governments would submit their budget and economic strategy for the next year, and then national budget planning would follow in the second half of the year.
The Irish Times reports that the Commission will say its budget oversight measures can be introduced under Article 136 of the Lisbon Treaty, which empowers it to adopt “measures specific” to euro countries. The plans are also likely to ensure that no finance minister could veto a negative finding by the other ministers.