Portugal

VI - Euro Plus Pact

On March 11, 2011 the Heads of State or Government of the Eurozone endorsed the Pact for the Euro. At the 24/25 March 2011 European Council, the same Heads of State or Government agreed on the Euro Plus Pact and were joined – hence the ‘Plus’ – by six others: Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania (leaving only the UK, Czech Republic, Sweden and Hungary out).      
The objective of the pact is to foster competitiveness, foster employment, contribute to the sustainability of public finances and reinforce financial stability. In the Euro-Plus-Pact the Heads of State or Government have entered into commitments on a number of policy areas, in which member states are competent.           
(
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/120296.pdf)

Negotiation
VI.1
What political/legal difficulties
did Portugal encounter in the negotiation of the Euro-Plus-Pact, in particular in relation to the implications of the Pact for (budgetary) sovereignty, constitutional law, socio-economic fundamental rights, and the budgetary process.

On 23 March 2011, Prime-Minister José Socrates resigned after the parliament rejected the document that came to be known as PEC IV (SGP 2011-2014).[1]  Request for external financial assistance followed shortly after.[2] Amidst the political turmoil it is not possible to identify a parliamentary debate specifically on the Euro Plus Pact.

 As to parliamentary debates that took place later in 2011 and the years that followed, as in other issues, debates in parliament very often alluded to very different measures as part of the same set of mechanisms.[3] Criticism multiplied indistinctly too: the Euro-Plus-Pact was a threat to national budgetary sovereignty as much as the six-pack or the TSCG; the terms of the reform of EU’s “economic governance” would attribute the commission the power to indicate what public policies to pursue. 

Taking into consideration the overlapping nature and substance of the measures contained in the Euro Plus Pact the government considered that both the adoption of resolution n.º 84/2012, of 3 July, that approved the TSCG (also known as fiscal compact) and resolution 9/2012, of 9 December 2012 that approved the treaty on the ESM “[provided] a more solemn framework to the set of EU coordinated initiatives such as the Euro Plus Pact, European Semester and the Six-Pack”.[4]

Miscellaneous
VI.2
What other information is relevant with regard to Portugal and the Euro-Plus-Pact?

No other relevant information.

[1] See: http://www.parlamento.pt/OrcamentoEstado/Documents/pec/21032011-PEC2011_2014.pdf

[2] See: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/articles/financial_operations/2011-04-06-portugal_en.htm

[3] See http://debates.parlamento.pt/search.aspx?cid=r3.dar

[4] See http://debates.parlamento.pt/page.aspx?cid=r3.dar&diary=s1l12sl1n95-0003&type=texto&q=six-pack&sm=p