MEPs question Pierre Moscovici

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The French nominee for the incoming European Commission has told MEPs that "every country" will have to respect EU budget rules, during a pre-confirmation hearing on 2 October 2014.

Pierre Moscovici, who was finance minister in the French Socialist government until April this year, was allocated the economic affairs portfolio by Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker early last month.

He faced repeated questions from MEPs on the Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee about whether his previous political career would undermine his new role enforcing the EU's Stability and Growth Pact, which seeks to limit a country's deficit to no more than 3% of its GDP.

The French government recently announced that it hopes to meet this target by 2017, two years later than promised.

However, Mr Moscovici pledged to act "as a European above all", and ensure that all budgetary rules are adhered to across the EU, adding that he would be a "fair and impartial" arbitrator of economic regulation.

The committee will now produce a written evaluation of his performance, before the whole Commission is due to be put to a vote of approval in the Parliament later this month.

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