Troika helped to avoid the worst, but flawed structure harmed recovery, MEPs find

The European Parliament on Thursday voted on two resolutions on separate inquiries conducted by Euro MPs into the way in which the troika of experts from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund handled the bail-out programs for Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Ireland.

With a vote of 448 to 140 and 27 abstentions, the European Parliament approved the findings of an inquiry by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee's drafted by Othmar Karas (EPP, Austria) and Liem Hoang-Ngoc (S&D, France). The conclusion of the inquiry, published on the Europa website, found that while the troika helped the four EU countries through the crisis and prevented it from getting worse, its flawed structure and working methods hindered national "ownership" and compromised transparency and accountability.

The MEPs also voted on the resolutions from an inquiry conducted by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee's, authored by Alejandro Cercas (S&D, Spain), which deplored the widespread negative impacts that troika-inspired reforms had on employment and advocated revising the measures put in place. The resolution was approved by 408 votes to 135, with 63 abstentions.

The inquiry findings were also critical of the troika's organization.

"The three independent institutions of the Troika had an uneven distribution of responsibility between them, coupled with differing mandates, as well as negotiation and decision-making structures with different levels of accountability, all resulting in a lack of appropriate scrutiny and democratic accountability as a whole," said the text. National parliaments were also too often left out, it added.

EU finance ministers, particularly in the Eurogroup, are also blamed for "failing to give clear and consistent political pointers to the Commission and for failing to shoulder their share of responsibility in their capacity as final decision-taker."