Europe wants its own monetary fund to avoid future eurozone crises. Jean-Pierre Audy joins us in the studio to discuss its inner workings. The counter-feiting negotiations (ACTA) have been shrouded in mystery and MEPs have demanded more transparency. And
In the midst of financial and budgetary turmoil Must we help Greece out of a tough spot? There’s no consensus on a European Monetary Fund. Also in the news: illegal downloading, MEPs want to be in on it but the international agreement on copyright remains shrouded in mystery. Animal welfare leaves something to be desired in the EU. MEPs criticise the plan for 2006-2010. Hello and welcome to EuroparlTV news. My guest today is MEP Jean-Pierre Audy, chair of the French delegation of the EPP. Greece is still in the headlines. European economic ministers yesterday approved a plan to rescue Athens. There’s also talk of a European Monetary Fund Here’s Hugues Wajnsztok. Panic on the streets of Athens. Ministerial procession in Brussels. As the Greek tragedy continues to rock the eurozone, the answer comes from the EU itself. Aside from a new budgetary austerity plan put into motion by the Greek PM, the idea for a European Monetary Fund has resurfaced. The fund would lend money as a last resort to eurozone countries in difficulty. Should we rescue Greece or not? We don’t have any tools and a European Monetary Fund is the answer. For the EPP prudence and scepticism are the watchwords. We shouldn’t count on a European Monetary Fund as a solution to problems experienced by eurozone countries right now. If the eurozone is mooting such a monetary fund, it’s also about avoiding reliance on the IMF, whose boss DSK is in Brussels for a visit has understood loud and clear Europeans have chosen to deal with their problems by themselves. They will make it, it’s going to work and the Greeks have proposed a very strict plan. Now it’s got to be implemented. We have offered the technical assistance asked of us by the Commission and now they’re on course. A European Monetary Fund will not happen overnight. The new European Commissioner for Economic Affairs won't propose it before summer, and it will no doubt require a revision of the Lisbon Treaty. Hello Jean-Pierre Audy. -Hello. Whilst awaiting a hypothetical EMF yesterday European finance ministers approved an aid plan for Greece. we know the finer details but politically there's agreement. However, Germany seems reluctant. Must we help out Greece? Yes, we need to help out. We need to find means and ways to rebuild confidence between this nation and the financial world. It's not necessarily via bilateral aid, and it's not appropriate anyway, but there's the idea to solve the Greece-Cyprus military question so that Greece's budget could begin to recover. That must be done collectively with all Member States. Aside from the Greek crisis is the question of a lack of convergence within the eurozone itself. Each member keeps to its own economic policy. Monday French Finance Minister Lagarde considered the German model which is too focused on exports was prejudiced against the eurozone, what do you think? It's good to export and to consume, Us French have a lot to learn from our German friends. Conversely we are about win-win cooperation. I don't judge intergovernmental relations. But regarding the EP we need to find political majorities to move towards economic governance that's the topic and our citizens are waiting for it. So what solid actions must be taken in an economic and financial crisis, what is the top priority for the eurozone? The eurozone should be concerned with monetary matters for the euro. Economic governance must apply to the entire EU, that means an end to the internal market, creating a social law for work, and a big investment plan in the EU. For the eurozone we need global monetary dialogue. Our eurozone leaders should speak with the IMF on the dangers of global monetary problems. The euro problem is a small one in the wider context of economic governance. Jean-Pierre Audy, thank you. Straight to the point, illegal downloading online is back in the spotlight. International negotiations are underway. The EP wants to be heard. Here’s Aurore Peignois. Computers, MP3 players and telephones could be searched and seized if you download illegally. These new rules don’t yet apply in Europe, but international negotiations have begun. Talks kept secret by the Commission and the Council. The Parliament is demanding its say. We should have been involved at the beginning of the negotiations, but talks started three years ago, so we have to find a way to deal with this problem. If 27 national ministers consider that they can give themselves a mandate to negotiate in secret on the fundamental rights and freedoms of European citizens then their understanding of democracy differs from mine. The Commission says it has been clear and communicated all required data. I’ve given very precise answers to all the questions, so I’m surprised that things are still being said that are entirely contrary to what I’ve said. But MEPs look set to take a harder line. The Commission will risk a no in the end if they go on with their old strategy of closed doors, non-information and lack of transparency, which is what they've done up to now. If they sidestep the EP, then we’ll take it all the way to the Court of Justice. The EP’s first warning came at the end of the latest Strasbourg session. An overwhelming majority of MEPs adopted a resolution demanding more transparency in the run up to the international agreement. Now a round up of the rest of the news. Gaelle Le Fischer Pay back. Some twenty countries including Greece, Poland and Spain were slammed for 'irregular spending’. The irregularities relate to spending on agriculture. These countries must now pay back more than 346 million euros to the EU. Swift saga part 2. Return to the USA access to European banking data for counter-terrorism purposes. The Commission is preparing a new negotiation mandate for March's end. It’s the second time round. A first text was rejected by the EP a few weeks ago. Not enough protection of private data was cited by MEPs, who also didn’t appreciate having been sidelined on this issue. Greek crisis: CDS, derivative financial products used to speculate on national debts, are they partly to blame? Sharon Bowles, chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee doesn’t think there is enough evidence. Commission thinks that CDS might have exacerbated the crisis. The Commission foresees a reframing of their use but not in the near future. How can we reconcile the quality of meat eaten with welfare of animals being slaughtered? MEPs analysed the issue today on the last 5 years of practices meant to avoid violations. Here’s Margherita Sforza. Animal welfare, the EU would like this to be what defines European husbandry. In 2006, Europe launched its first five-year plan, to be renewed in 2011. The results are still insufficient. Rule violations are frequent. So MEPs are asking for more checks and a more effective sanctions system. The MEP in charge of this dossier wants new legislation. Some Members States have very good rules, very high standards, and that cost a lot of money for those farmers, and you have other countries with nearly no legislation at all, and no control, and they should compete with each other. That’s unfair play. Marit Paulsen wants these rules to be applied to farmers selling in Europe too. From the farmers' union point of view they’re staying prudent. They know consumers' reactions well. You can speak to the consumer on the street and they like to pay extra for it, but when you check their shopping trolleys, it doesn’t always bear fruit in their shopping practice. They will look at cost and sometimes they do buy the cheapest product rather than that with the highest welfare. Animal welfare will be debated at the next plenary session in the Parliament. One of the stakes is the creation of a European centre to promote better husbandry standards. That’s it for today. Thanks for watching.