The Irish Times’ Arthur Beesley reports that EU Finance Ministers “have resolved to submit draft budgets for the approval of their counterparts and the EU Commission before unveiling them in national parliaments.”
European Council president Herman Van Rompuy, who chaired the meeting on economic governance, said there was a “strong convergence of views” on the measures required to strengthen how the EU polices and enforces budgetary rules.
The meeting followed a separate gathering here of ministers whose countries share the euro, at which they signed off signed off on the final details of a €440 billion loan scheme for distressed single currency members.
The ministers’ agreement in principle to open their budgets in Brussels before parliament marks their endorsement of a key proposal from economics commissioner Olli Rehn to strengthen budgetary coordination.
Mr Van Rompuy said the process, which is subject to the approval of EU leaders, would strengthen parliamentary scrutiny of budgets as it would put the broad parameters of the plans through a rigorous credibility test.
The review process — likely to take place in the first half of the year — would examine the “main assumptions” relating to growth, inflation, revenues, expenditure and deficit levels, he said.
Perhaps… The BBC notes
The UK government said it would reject this plan, but EU officials said a compromise had been worked out.