Brussels, 13 March 2014 – Today the European Parliament adopted two milestone reports (1) which enquired into the workings of the Troika (2) and called for an end to it. These reports note that the economic reforms put forward by the Troika, compromise transparency and accountability, impacted health system organisation and failed to rectify recommendations when flawed growth forecasts and fiscal assumptions were made.
“For way too long it has not been clear who bears responsibility for the decisions taken by the institutions forming the Troika. For this reason we welcome today’s vote and the reports as a first step to achieve better scrutiny and democratic accountability when it comes to economic reform in Europe and its impact on people and families,” said Peggy Maguire, President of EPHA and Director General of the European Institute of Women’s Health.
The reports send a strong message on the need to take into account the social impacts of the adjustment programmes so that they do not undermine the European social model. These EU Parliament reports urge the development of a social recovery plan with adequate financial resources (3). In terms of health, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) recommend the development of European guidelines on the quality of employment, social protection, health and education. One of the reports (4) stresses the impact on the quality and accessibility of health and social care that some reforms on health systems and expenditure have had.
“It is time to address the damage done to people’s physical and mental health, as well as to revitalise Europe’s health systems. Today’s vote should mark a U-turn in the way Brussels and the Troika deal with social and health issues,” pointed out Ms. Maguire. “EPHA supports the call for the next European Parliament (5) to investigate the findings of this report and encourages all MEP candidates to champion a true social dimension of the economic and fiscal governance in the EU and the euro area,” concluded Ms. Maguire.
(1) Report by the Commitee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Rapportuer: Othmar Karas, Liem Hoang Ngoc. A parallel report drawn up, and already adopted, by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee - negotiated by Alejandro Cercas (S&D ES).
(2) The Troika is a group formed by the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) originated in the 25 March 2010 decision by the euro area’s heads of state and government to contribute coordinated bilateral loans to Greece – later also Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus-.
(3) The Employment and Social Affairs Committee report suggests the Commission, the ECB and the Eurogroup review the measures put in place as soon as possible and that the EU supports, through sufficient financial resources, the restoration of social protection standards to help in the fight against poverty.
(5) EPHA’s Election Manifesto outlines how the future European Parliament can create an inclusive, sustainable society, starting with a revision of the Europe 2020 Strategy, to include an explicit health dimension.
Javier Delgado, EPHA Communications Coordinator at email@example.com or 32 (0) 2 233 38 876