Alfred Sant ivvota favur rapport dwar is-Semestru Ewropew għall-koordinazzjoni tal-politika ekonomika ppreżentat lill-plenarja tal-Parlament Ewropew. Il-MPE Laburista iżda appella għal approċċ Ewropew aktar bilanċjat dwar ir-relazzjoni bejn il-ħtieġa li jitreġġa’ lura t-tnaqqis massiv fl-infiq fuq is-saħħa li seħħ matul is-snin, u l-ħtieġa li l-ekonomija Ewropea tinżamm b’saħħitha. Sakemm is-settur tas-saħħa pubblika Ewropea jiġi aġġornat kif suppost, l-ispejjeż relatati mas-saħħa għandhom ikunu eżentati mill-kalkolu tal-bilanċ strutturali mwettqa fuq il-baġits tal-Gvernijiet nazzjonali. Spejjeż bħal dawn m’għandhomx jitqiesu bħala parti mid-defiċit imġarrba mill-gvernijiet.

Is-Semestru Ewropew huwa proċess annwali tal-Unjoni Ewropea li ġie introdott fl-2010 taħt il-gwida tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea, li toħroġ valutazzjonijiet ta’ kif l-ekonomiji tal-Istati Membri qed jaħdmu. Dan imbagħad jipproponi x’għandu jsir. Is-semestru huwa maħsub biex jassisti lill-Istati Membri fil-koordinazzjoni tal-politika ekonomika tagħhom.

L-eks Prim Ministru Sant saħaq li l-ekonomija Ewropea ma tistax tadotta kronoloġija waħda li tkun tajba għal kulħadd. Xi kwistjonijiet fundamentali ħafna jibqgħu nieqsa fil-mod kif titwettaq. Pereżempju, is-sitwazzjoni tal-enerġija li wasslet għall-kriżi attwali li kompliet marret għall-agħar bil-kunflitt fl-Ukrajna ma kisbitx l-attenzjoni meħtieġa. Iż-żieda fil-prezzijiet tal-enerġija għal dawn l-aħħar xhur se tkun bidla kbira fil-logħba.

Ir-rapport ġie adottat b’534 vot favur, 85 vot kontra u 73 astensjoni.


Europe needs a better balance between health and economic priorities

Alfred Sant voted in favour of a report on the European Semester for economic policy coordination presented to the plenary of the European Parliament. The Labour MEP however called for a more balanced European approach on the relationship between the need to reverse the massive reduction on health spending that has happened over the years, and the need to keep the European economy in shape. Until the European public health sector is properly upgraded, health related expenses should be exempted from the calculation of the structural balance carried out on the budgets of the national governments. Such expenses should not be considered as part of the deficit incurred by governments.

The European Semester is a yearly process of the European Union which was introduced in 2010 under the guidance of the European Commission, which issues assessments of how the economies of Member States are performing. It then proposes what should be done. The semester is meant to assist Member States in the coordination of their economic policies.

Former Prime Minister Sant emphasized that the European economy cannot adopt a one-size-fits-all timeline. Some very fundamental matters remain missing in how it is carried out. For instance, the energy situation leading to the current crisis which has further worsened with the conflict in Ukraine did not get the needed attention. The rise of energy prices for the past months will be a major game changer. 

The report was adopted with 534 votes in favour, 85 votes against and 73 abstentions.

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