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EU adopts "six-pack" to promote fiscal disipline, economic coordination


10:28, November 09, 2011

BRUSSELS, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) on Tuesday adopted a set of new rules for fiscal discipline and economic coordination, dubbed the "six-pack," in an effort to restore confidence in the eurozone.

The six-pack refers to a package of six directives and regulations on budget deficits, spending levels, and tax levels, among others, aimed at safeguarding financial stability in the eurozone and in the EU, by exerting preventive and effective surveillance.

"I expect the so-called 'six-pack' to enter into force by mid-December and, mark my words: I intend to fully implement the new rules from Day One," said Olli Rehn, the economic and monetary affairs commissioner of the EU, at a press conference after a meeting with the EU's finance ministers.

The package would be implemented by applying a scoreboard that the European Commission is to use to measure and prevent the kind of macroeconomic imbalances that have been hampering the European economy and served as one of the main causes of the sovereign debt crisis, said Rehn.

"The six-pack will ensure that once we get out of the current difficulties, we will never again get back into the same position," Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowki, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, told the same press conference.

Although the set of new rules is a month away from officially coming into force, Rehn pointed to the monitoring mission that the European Commission is currently carrying out for Italy as an illustration of the implementation of the "six-pack" method.

The Commission sent a questionnaire to Rome last Friday and the monitoring mission will start to work in Rome Wednesday, according to Rehn. The commissioner would present the monitoring results to the Eurogroup later this month.

"This is just the first step in the enhanced monitoring of Italy by the Commission. Regular reviews will be made to track progress with implementation of the reforms," said Rehn.

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