Following the publication, on October 10, of the annual report by the European Fiscal Board (EFB) severely criticising the European Commission’s role in the development and implementation of the EU fiscal policy, S&D Group president Udo Bullmann stated:

“We regret that the last EFB annual report is strongly criticising the changes the European Commission applied to its fiscal policies from 2015 onwards in order to mobilise investments and lend support to the recovery of the EU economy. These innovations, which make use of the flexibility in the existing fiscal rulebook, were instrumental in fighting the economic and social crisis in Europe and a key request from the S&D Group. We continue to consider that it has been the right choice to end austerity in the EU.”

“Responsible fiscal policy requires both sound economic judgement and political wisdom. Most importantly, it requires a profound awareness of the context in every member state. The purely technocratic, quasi-automatic approach to fiscal policy that the Fiscal Board seems to envisage is one that has failed in the past and will fail again as soon as it is confronted with the complexities of real life. Instead of turning back the clock in this way, the S&D Group advocates reforms of EU economic governance that foster greater transparency and legitimacy, especially by involving the European Parliament,” he added.

“Our political family has played an important role in the economic recovery we have been witnessing in the past years. It is thanks to our investment-friendly stance supported by Pierre Moscovici within the Commission that we can see today’s economic growth. The recent successful exit of Greece from the third financial adjustment programme is telling,” stated S&D Group spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs, Pervenche Berès MEP.

“Advocates of fiscal consolidation and of a technocratic Commission should remember that it was the blind application of ‘economic prescriptions’ that drove us to an almost decade-long austerity. We will not accept going back to this and we call the Commission to pursue a sustainable enhancing and investment fiscal policy, also to tackle social inequalities,” she concluded.