The opinion seeks to highlight the need to reform the EMU and to take into account the views of local and regional authorities in doing so. As a result it underlines some key concerns such as: the importance of public investment and need for further flexibility within the SGP, the need to continue interparliamentary conference and more formally involve LRAs, or the need to respect subsidiarity in any mechanism to co-finance with EU funds the implementation of structural reforms.
The rapporteur's work on the EMU has received significant attention in his home country (France): in the media, including through an article in L'Opinion, and in national government, receiving positive feedback from both the French President's office and the Minister of the Economy.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
supports the principle of introducing a budgetary capacity aimed at increasing the euro area's resilience, and paving the way for convergence with future euro area members; agrees with possible EU co-financing for structural reforms at national level where these reforms are in areas of EU competence, in line with the principle of subsidiarity, focusing on measures with EU added value and a significant positive economic impact;
is concerned about the lack of mention of public investment in the Commission proposal, especially since the necessary flexibility regarding investments has been previously recognised, and since some public investments have long-term positive and verifiable effects on growth, and therefore on the viability of public finances;
considers that the practice of inter-parliamentary meetings, as provided for in Article 13 of the TSCG, contributes to strengthening democratic accountability within the EU's economic governance framework and should therefore be reaffirmed in the present proposal for a directive, but calls for the CoR's involvement in these meetings to be formalised, in order to recognise the need to involve local and regional authorities in economic governance;
welcomes the fact that the Commission proposal incorporates the ESM into primary EU law, also supports its use as a "backstop" for the Single Resolution Fund (SRF);
welcomes the Commission's communication on a European Minister of Economy and Finance who would be both a Vice-President of the Commission and President of the Eurogroup – and thus doubly legitimate – and who would embody more democratically accountable and comprehensible EMU governance.