EU’s Moscovici Says Members Rightfully Ditch Some EU Advice

Pierre Moscovici
European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Sunday EU member states are right to ditch specific recommendations on economic reforms from the European Commission because of their tediousness.

“It’s quite unbearable to see the European Commission holding the hand of ministers -- who believe to be legitimate -- or governments with reforms presented in a bureaucratic way and which are more or less always the same,” Moscovici, France’s finance minister from 2012 to 2014, said at a conference organized by Le Cercle des Economistes in Aix-en-Provence.

“And the more they are, the more detailed they get, the more they head to their legitimate destination, which is the trash bin,” Moscovici said.

Annual EU recommendations to member states must become “more strategic” and “less intrusive” for governments, parliaments and voters so that they can endorse and implement them.

Moscovici made the comments as Greeks started voting on whether to endorse further budget cuts and tax increases in return for EU and international aid.

Since Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced the vote June 26, Greece’s banks have shut, commerce has ground to a halt and his government has become isolated in the EU.

“I sometimes understand them,” Moscovici said, in reference to the Greek people.

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