Wednesday 19 May 2010

Eurozone crisis: Roundup of preparatory documents on Eur-Lex

In Eurozone crisis: Roundup of official information (OJEU), 19 May 2010, we searched for the eurozone rescue decisions published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) by today.

Only the €60 billion European financial stabilisation mechanism and two supporting decisions by the European Central Bank had been published in OJEU, leaving question marks with regard to openness (transparency), closeness, democracy and the rule of law.

Do we fare any better if we look for the proposals where they should be, on Eur-Lex under preparatory acts?

Here are the proposals and preparatory documents we hope to find in full, or at least properly documented: the €110 billion (including IMF) support package for Greece, Greek austerity and reform measures, the €60 billion European financial stabilisation mechanism, the €440 billion Special Purpose Vehicle, additional IMF participation, national commitments, fiscal and economic reform promises from Spain and Portugal, measures towards greater fiscal prudence, proposals for stricter economic governance and additional ECB decisions.

Eur-Lex roundup

How is this roller coaster month of May reflected by preparatory documents on Eur-Lex?

COM documents

No relevant COM documents were found.

SEC documents

Among SEC documents we find the following, published in 21 languages (but not in English), so I arbitrarily chose to link to the French version:

Recommandation en vue d'une DÉCISION DU CONSEIL adressée à la Grèce en vue de renforcer et d'approfondir la surveillance budgétaire et mettant la Grèce en demeure de prendre des mesures pour procéder à la réduction du déficit jugée nécessaire pour remédier à la situation de déficit excessif ; Bruxelles, le 4.5.2010 ; SEC(2010) 560 final (12 pages)

The proposed Council Decision, based on Article 126(9) TFEU and Article 136 TFEU, sets out revised measures for eurozone member Greece to take for deficit reduction, because the economic growth prospects have worsened and the chances to deficit reduction targets have deteriorated. The attainment date is postponed by two years, to 2014, but the requirements for Greek measures to restore credibility are tightened. The proposal details a real austerity package.

Convergence report

A number of documents relevant to the larger picture of budgetary discipline have been published. The following covers progress towards euro introduction:

Commission staff working document (Brussels, 12.5.2010; SEC(2010) 598 final; 197 pages) accompanying the Commission’s Convergence Report 2010; COM(2010) 238 final [the latter not posted among COM documents on Eur-Lex]

The periodic Convergence Report is based on Article 140(1) TFEU, and it concerns the progress made by member states with a derogation towards achieving economic and monetary union (EMU).

Denmark and the United Kingdom have opted out and 16 EU member states have introduced the euro currency, so the 2010 convergence assessment covers Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden.

Budget discipline

Part of the same larger framework, but regarding individual member states are a number of Commission reports:

Luxembourg Report prepared in accordance with Article 126(3) of the Treaty; Brussels, 12.5.2010; SEC(2010) 588 final (9 pages)

The Commission deals with the application of the Stability and Growth Pact in the current crisis situation, the first step in the excessive deficit procedure with regard to Luxembourg, when the government deficit exceeds the reference value of 3 per cent.


Cyprus Report prepared in accordance with Article 126(3) of the Treaty; Brussels, 12.5.2010; SEC(2010) 590 final

Denmark Report prepared in accordance with Article 126(3) of the Treaty; Brussels, 12.5.2010;
SEC(2010) 585 final

Finland Report prepared in accordance with Article 126(3) of the Treaty; Brussels, 12.5.2010;
SEC(2010) 589 final

Bulgaria Report prepared in accordance with Article 126(3) of the Treaty; Brussels, 12.5.2010;
SEC(2010) 587 final

Recommendation for a COUNCIL OPINION on the updated stability programme of Cyprus, 2009-2013; Brussels, 12.5.2010; SEC(2010) 595 final

Summing up

No COM documents directly relevant to the eurozone rescue were posted on Eur-Lex under preparatory documents.

The only SEC document published on Eur-Lex under preparatory documents, which was directly linked to the salvage operation was the proposal for Greek budgetary measures.

The publishing efforts have been unsystematic and people who want to access documents are in for a search from dispersed sources.

The staff working paper accompanying the Convergence Report 2010 (itself absent) and the reports on individual countries form part of the larger task of restoring fiscal probity and budget discipline in the European Union.

How about transparency, closeness, democracy and the rule of law?

Ralf Grahn

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