European Parliament/Pietro Naj-Oleari

Europas Hund in der Nacht

BRÜSSEL – Die neue Europäische Kommission unter Jean-Claude Juncker hat einen holperigen Start hingelegt. An den Schlagzeilen freilich ist das nicht zu erkennen. Wie schon Sherlock Holmes wusste, fällt es normalerweise nicht auf, wenn ein Hund des Nachts nicht bellt. Im Falle Europas geht es um die Haushaltsregeln der Europäischen Union, und die Kommission – im Prinzip der Wachhund der EU – sollte bei Verstößen laut anschlagen.

Im vergangenen Monat schien lautes Gebell unvermeidlich, nachdem zwei große EU-Länder, Italien und Frankreich, Haushaltspläne für 2015 vorlegten, die klar gegen die Sparzusagen ihrer Regierungen verstießen. Zunächst lehnte die Kommission beide Haushalte pflichtgemäß als mit den Regeln des Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspaktes unvereinbar ab. Aber dann passierte etwas, das genauso „merkwürdig“ war wie in der Geschichte von Arthur Conan Doyle. Innerhalb von zwei Tagen legten beide Länder minimale Anpassungen ihrer Haushaltsentwürfe vor, die sich auf rund 0,2% vom BIP beliefen, und ihre Finanzminister schrieben an die Kommission, dass ihre Haushalte nun genehmigt werden sollten. Die Kommission reagierte nicht, sodass die französische und die italienische Führung nun für sich in Anspruch nehmen konnten, sie selbst und nicht die Bürokraten in Brüssel hätten das letzte Wort.

Tatsächlich fällt die neueste Prognose für dieses Jahr für Frankreich und Italien noch schlechter aus als ursprünglich angekündigt: Frankreichs Defizit dürfte 2015 leicht steigen, und Italiens konjunkturbereinigtes Defizit dürfte sich verschlimmern. Der Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspakt schreibt eine jährliche Verbesserung von mindestens 0,5 % vom BIP vor.

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