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EU proposes tighter control over eurozone national budgets

(Xinhua)

13:06, November 24, 2011

BRUSSELS, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission Wednesday unveiled proposals for tighter control over the national budgets of eurozone member states to enhance budgetary disciplines and economic governance.

The proposed regulation would require eurozone member countries to present their draft budgets at the same time each year and give the Commission the right to assess and, if necessary, issue an opinion on them.

According to the proposed regulation published Wednesday, the Commission could request that these drafts be revised, should it consider them to be seriously non-compliant with the policy obligations laid down in the Stability and Growth Pact. All of this would be done publicly to ensure full transparency.

The regulation also proposes eurozone member states would have to have in place independent fiscal councils and to base their budgets on independent forecasts.

"Given the deeper interdependence of the euro area countries, so clearly demonstrated by the ongoing crisis, the Commission is proposing to enhance both the coordination and the surveillance of budgetary processes for all eurozone member states," said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at a press conference.

For member countries with excessive deficits, experiencing or at serious risk of financial instability, or under a financial assistance programme, the Commission would be able to decide whether they should be subject to enhanced surveillance and issue a recommendation to such countries to request financial assistance.

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