Richard North, 04/09/2004  

The Commission communication did more than just produce a fudge on the Growth and Stability Pact. It also produced some humbug on economic policy in general.

In order to “enhance the contribution of budgetary policy to economic growth”, the Commission is advocating “better interlinking the instruments for EU economic governance”.

What the Commission would like is a stronger economic policy co-ordination through greater use of the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines and a better co-ordination between these and the Pact (whose supposed discipline will continue to be flouted by most countries).

While the Commission press release (from which the quotations are taken) waffles on about peer pressure and early warnings, it is reasonably clear what the Communication really means. It is trying to push ahead the idea of economic policy becoming a Community competence, as it is due to do if the Constitution is adopted. And, if for some reason, it is not adopted, the goal of economic control can be pursued through other means, such as the strengthened Broad Economic Policy Guidelines

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