Member states are being “dishonourable” by trying to formalise Yves Mersch's executive board position over the holiday weekend; co-operation on banking union plans at risk.
A major row has erupted between the European Parliament and
the Council of Ministers over what MEPs see as a “dishonourable” move to
appoint Yves Mersch to the executive board of the European Central Bank while
European Union institutions are closed.
The Council – representing member states – is set to make
Mersch's appointment official by Monday (5 November), choosing to fast-track
the process without holding a meeting or formal vote.
MEPs are furious that the Council is moving ahead with the
appointment despite the Parliament last week (25 October) voting against it.
Sven Giegold, a German Green MEP, suggested that the
Parliament could retaliate by reducing its co-operation on draft legislation
connected to the EU's single banking supervisor proposals, for which he is
leading the Parliament's work.
“Co-operation works both ways,” he said today.
“We are doing everything we can to help the Council on the
banking union but how can there be mutual trust if they go ahead and push their
opinion in such a dishonourable way?”
The Parliament's vote last week was not legally binding but
MEPs had hoped that it would force member states into a re-think.
Instead, the decision looks likely to be approved by written
procedure – the final stage in the appointment process – this weekend. EU
institutions were closed yesterday and today (1-2 November) for All Saints and
All Souls days.
MEPs voted against Mersch's appointment because it would
mean that the ECB executive board will be exclusively male until 2018 at the
Sylvie Goulard, a French Liberal MEP, said that the way that
the Council was attempting to appoint Mersch by written procedure did not meet
the requirement of “sincere co-operation” between the different EU
institutions, enshrined in the EU treaties.
“To make a written procedure over a long weekend on
something that the Parliament disagrees with is obviously a trick,” she said.
“They are ignoring what we said and you have to question the
Goulard said that she was holding talks with officials in
several eurozone capitals in an attempt to get them to stop the process.
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