Monika Panayotova, Chairperson of the parliamentary Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds and the committee’s Deputy Chair Vladimir Toshev took part in the meeting of COSAC (Conference of the chairpersons of the committees of the national Parliaments of the European Union Member States and of the candidate countries dealing with the European Union affairs), which took place on 29-30 January 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The representatives of the committees on European affairs of the national parliaments conferred with the European Commissioner for Climate Action Mrs. Connie Hedegaard and with Mr. Maros Sefcovic, Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration.
The topics discussed at the meeting were the energy priorities of the European Union until 2020 and the debt crisis and economic governance of the EU.
The chairperson of the Bulgarian committee on European affairs, Monika Panayotova, presented the Bulgarian position on the EU economic governance subject. She emphasized on 3 basic issues.
First – she underscored that the Bulgarian parliament has given the government a green light with regards to the new Agreement for stability, coordination and governance of the economic and monetary union in the EU. She noted that the agreement represents a continuation of the fiscal discipline and macroeconomic stability pursued by Bulgaria. She pointed that the public debt of the country in 2011 was 16% of the GDP and the deficit less than 2 %.
Second – she stressed on the necessity to keep the tax policies of the country intact in order to preserve and guarantee the competitive advantages these policies provide.
Third – she underscored the role of the national parliaments for the fiscal and financial stability of the member-countries. She asked the Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration Mr. Maros Sefcovic what would be the procedure in case the national parliaments do not accept the recommendations of the European Commission related to the national draft budgets. Mrs. Panayotova said Bulgaria had no such intentions but would like to know how it could impact the entire budget procedure. The commissioner confirmed that for the time being there were no sanctions envisaged, but said it is important that the countries take into consideration the recommendations of the European Commission. In his view the recommendations keep the countries within the set limits and have impact on their economies.