Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
166. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Finance, further to Parliamentary Question No. 37 of 7 March 2012 on Ireland’s participation in discussions regarding access to the European Stability Mechanism funds being contingent on the ratification of the fiscal compact, in which he did not indicate the position taken by him in these talks, if he and or officials argued for or against the inclusion of this requirement, and the reason for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14325/12]
167. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Finance, further to Parliamentary Question No. 37 of 7 March 2012 on Ireland’s participation in discussions regarding access to European Stability Mechanism funds being contingent on ratification of the fiscal compact, in which he stated that inclusion of the provision was of particular importance to a number of partners, the partners to which he is referring; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14328/12]
As I have stated before, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Treaty, which was signed by all Euro Area Member States on 2 February, subject to ratification, provides that “the granting of financial assistance in the framework of new programmes under the ESM will be conditional, as of 1 March 2013, on ratification of the TSCG by the ESM Member concerned” and on implementation of the balanced budget rule as specified in the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union within the agreed timeline (one year after entry into force of the latter).
In the negotiations, the Government sought to ensure that it was made clear that the link between ratification of the TSCG and the ESM Treaty applied only to new applications for assistance under the ESM, and that it will not affect the transfer to the ESM of undisbursed amounts under the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) for Ireland and other programme countries. It also sought to ensure that sufficient time was provided for ratification of the TSCG before the link enters into effect.
The Government did not actively seek to include the link between the two Treaties. However, it is entirely logical and reasonable that a country receiving the support of its partners under the ESM should be prepared to run sensible budgetary policies as required under the new Treaty.
It is for partners to describe their own negotiating positions. However, it is a matter of public record that the German Government and the Governments of the other AAA countries regards the link between the solidarity offered under facilities such as the ESM and a commitment to budgetary discipline as an important one.
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