Parliaments to be at the core of future EMU
As Europe moves towards ever deeper economic and monetary union, parliaments will have a key role to play in ensuring democratic legitimacy and accountability, Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said on Monday.
Speaking in Dublin at the COSAC meeting of all the chairs of the European affairs committees of the national parliaments organised by the Irish EU Presidency, V-P Šefčovič outlined the European Commission's proposals for deeper economic and monetary union as set out in the blueprint of November 2012.
While many of the short-term measures proposed in the blueprint could be achieved under the current system, the deeper integration set out by the Commission for the medium- and long-term will require changes to the Treaties and a further transfer of sovereignty to the European level.
"We cannot talk about Economic and Monetary Union without mentioning the necessary parallel development of a political union, with reinforced democratic legitimacy and accountability. To this end, we need to deepen the democratic fabric of our multi-level system. We need to substantially reinforce the role of parliaments at both national and European level and we have to improve EU democratic accountability and legitimacy," V-P Šefčovič said.
National and European Parliaments would have key roles to play, not only in the debate on what measures needed to be agreed to ensure deeper EMU but also on ensuring that those measures are correctly implemented and with sufficient regard for the democratic process, V-P Šefčovič added.
"[You] also have a vital role to play in bridging the so-called 'democratic gap' between 'Europe' and its citizens. This is not only because you of course will have to endorse that change when adapting your national legislation, but also because, as the representatives of European citizens, you have a vital role in explaining and debating the change with your constituents," he told parliamentarians at the meeting.
V-P Šefčovič's speech: The future of Europe: towards a genuine Economic and Monetary Union