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Preparation of Eurogroup and Economic and Finance Ministers Council, Brussels 12 and 13 July 2010

Commission Européenne - MEMO/10/321   12/07/2010

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MEMO/10/321

Brussels, 12 July 2010

Preparation of Eurogroup and Economic and Finance Ministers Council, Brussels 12 and 13 July 2010

EUROGROUP (Amelia Torres / Amadeu Altafaj)

Eurogroup ministers will meet at 17.00 hrs on Monday 12 July in Brussels. Olli Rehn, Commissioner responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs, will attend, as well as European Central Bank Governor Jean-Claude Trichet. A press conference is expected to take place after the meeting.

Surveillance of competitiveness developments and of intra-euro area imbalances: peer review of Finland and Spain

The Eurogroup is committed to step-up surveillance of intra-euro area macroeconomic imbalances and competitiveness divergences. As a first practical exercise, the Eurogroup ministers will analyse the main challenges and priority policy actions in Spain and Finland.

Implementation of the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism

The Eurogroup will take stock of the state of play regarding the implementation of the European Financial Stability Facility. The CEO of the EFSF, Klaus Regling, will report on recent progress to make the facility fully operational.

Improving economic policy coordination in the euro area

Commissioner Rehn will present the Communication by the Commission of 30 June (IP/10/859) setting out a "toolbox" to reinforce economic governance in the EU, containing in particular proposals to create one single and integrated surveillance system for fiscal, economic and structural performance and to launch a European economic semester from January 2011.

There will be an exchange of views on the euro-area-specific dimensions of the ongoing work in the Task Force of the President of the European Council on economic governance, particularly focused in the euro area and in the broadening of economic surveillance.

Follow-up to the implementation of the Greek economic adjustment programme: quarterly review in view of the September disbursement

There will be a brief discussion on the progress made by Greece in implementing the economic adjustment programme on the basis of the interim review by the Commission, the ECB and the IMF that took place on 14-17 June (see full report at: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/articles/financial_operations/2010-07-06-greece_interim_review_en.htm ).

A full assessment will be carried out by the Commission in the quarterly review to take place in August.

Implementation of the SGP: assessment of effective action taken under the EDPs

Ministers will exchange views on the Commission communication on the assessment of the "effective action" taken by 12 EU Member States (Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia) in response to the Council Recommendations of 2 December 2009 on the basis of Article 126(7) TFEU, and the way forward to ensure a close surveillance of fiscal policies in Member States in EDP (see IP/10/739).

Next steps following the G20 Summit of 26-27 June

The Eurogroup will take stock of the main outcomes of the G20 Toronto summit of 26-27 June and discuss the next steps.

Eurogroup work programme

The Eurogroup is also expected to agree its work programme for the second half of 2010.

ECOFIN COUNCIL (AT / AAT)

The Council of Economic and Finance Ministers will start at 10H on Tuesday 13 July. It will be attended by Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier, and Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Unions, Audit and Anti-Fraud, Algirdas Semeta. A press conference is expected to take place after the meeting.

Breakfast

The working breakfast at 9.00 hrs will focus on the economic situation in the EU, the stress-tests on EU banks to be published on 23 July and the Report on a New Strategy for the Single Market by Professor Mario Monti.

Informal session on supervision

The current state of negotiations with the European Parliament on the reform of financial supervision will be discussed.

ECOFIN formal session

The Presidency will present its programme followed by an exchange of views.

As a follow-up to the European Council of 17 June, the Commission will present its Communication on economic governance of 30 June and discuss, in particular, the creation of a so-called European semester. The Commission believes that to improve economic governance a degree of synchronization is required between the EU surveillance system, on the one hand, and the national budgetary procedures, on the other hand. Under the new framework, Member states would submit their Stability/Convergence Programmes and their National Reform Programmes simultaneously, during the first semester of each year, to enable a better, more integrated and more effective ex-ante policy co-ordination of both budgetary and macro-economic developments at EU level. This review would then be taken into account, in the second half of the year, when drafting the national budgets for the next year (see IP/10/859 and Memo/10/288). In addition, the Council will take stock of the European Council's discussions on other economic policies, and the Commission will initiate a discussion on an acceleration of Europe 2020 policy actions.

Broad Economic Policy Guidelines

Further to the agreement at the European Council, the Council will be invited to formally adopt these BEPGs.

Implementation of SGP

Further to the Commission Proposal, the Council will launch the excessive deficit procedure for Bulgaria, Denmark, Cyprus and Finland.

In addition, the Council will note that effective action has been taken by Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. This exercise complies with the Council Decision of 2 December 2009 with a view to bringing an end to the situation of excessive public deficit and follows the evaluation by the Commission.

Adoption of the Euro by Estonia

The Council is expected to pave the way for the adoption of the Euro by 1st of January 2011. Estonia has had a fixed exchange rate policy and the exchange rate of the Estonian "kroon" to the euro (and before that, to the Deutsche mark). The Council will now adopt the relevant legal acts, decisions and regulations.

Miscellaneous

The EFC President will debrief the Council on the key messages of the discussion on the Commission's Public finance report in the EFC.

Supervision Package (Chantal Hughes)

Last week, in Strasbourg, the European Parliament voted on its own amendments to the Commission's original proposal, whilst postponing a vote on the actual legislative text. This means the option of a first reading deal remains. The Commission believes real progress has been made in recent weeks, and that a final compromise agreement is in reach. The Commission hopes that significant progress can be made at ECOFIN on this structural package of proposals so that a final agreement can be found quickly between co-legislators and to ensure that the new supervisory authorities can start their work in 2011.

Stress tests (CH)

During breakfast on 13 July, Ministers will be debriefed by the EFC President on the ongoing 2010 stress test exercise. Ministers will discuss how to follow up the European Council Conclusions of June, in particular discuss modalities for disclosure of the stress tests results on 23rd July. The Commission continues to support disclosure of results to restore confidence in the markets and ensure the credibility of the stress tests exercise.


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