Chemin de navigation

Left navigation

Additional tools

Autres langues disponibles: aucune

MEMO/11/30

Brussels, 23 January 2012

Preparation of Eurogroup and Economic and Finance Ministers Council, Brussels, 23-24 January 2012

EUROGROUP, 23 January

The Eurogroup meeting will start on Monday 23 January at 14.30. The European Commission will be represented by Olli Rehn, Vice President and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro. A press conference is expected to take place after the meeting.

1. ECB Executive Board Member

José Manuel González-Páramo's eight-year term as ECB Executive Board member will end on 31 May 2012. The appointment of an ECB Executive Board Member is set out in Art 11.2 of the Statute of the ESCB and the ECB: The Council makes a recommendation (with euro area Member States only voting) to the European Council after consulting the European Parliament and the ECB Governing Council. The European Council then takes the appointment decision (by qualified majority, euro area only voting).

Before consulting the European Parliament and the ECB Governing Council, the Eurogroup solicits and reviews applications for a successor. The deadline for submitting candidates was 19 January, 2012. Spain has nominated Antonio Sainz de Vicuña (head of ECB's legal department) as its candidate while Slovenia has nominated Mitja Gaspari (Minister for Development). Luxemburg has nominated Yves Mersch (Governor of the Central Bank of Luxembourg).

2. Adjustment programme for Greece – state of play (AAT)

The Greek Finance Minister is expected to report on the negotiations on private sector involvement, along the terms of the agreement of 26 October 2011. Vice-President Rehn, ECB President Mario Draghi and Finance Ministers will then discuss the state of play of the future second assistance programme for Greece. The IMF, represented by Reza Moghadam, will also participate in this exchange.

3. Stability developments in the euro area, including monitoring of vulnerable Member States (AAT)

Ministers will focus, in particular, in the latest developments in Italy and Spain.

In Italy, important progress has been made since the last meeting of the Eurogroup, both in the fiscal consolidation strategy and the growth-enhancing structural reforms, in particular with the adoption, in December 2011, of an ambitious package of fiscal consolidation measures and, on 20 January 2012, of a new set of structural measures aimed at promoting competition in services markets and network industries and in the area of administrative simplification.

In line with the mandate received from the Heads of State or Government at the 26 October euro-area summit, the European Commission will continue monitoring progress with the implementation of Italy's reform agenda.

In Spain, the Government now expects a deficit of around 8% of GDP in 2011, compared to an initial target of 6%. The Government promptly adopted corrective measures on 30 December. Commission expects the Spanish authorities to outline as soon as possible a medium term strategy and advance the adoption of the 2012 budget, and, on the structural side, to address the necessary labour market reform, and promote growth enhancing measures, as unemployment remains unacceptably high.

The positive outcome last week of the fifth review of the EU/IMF programme for Ireland will be presented by the Commission. Programme implementation remains very good, with the general Government deficit for 2011 estimated at 9.8% of GDP, well below the programme target of 10.6%, good progress of the financial system and an ambitious programme of structural reform to support job creation, increase competitiveness and boost growth.

4. EFSF issues

Ministers will review recents events, including progress achieved in leveraging the EFSF and recent decisions by credit rating agencies and their potential impact on the EFSF and on its successor, the ESM.

5. EDP implementation for euro area countries (AAT)

Ministers will discuss the implementation of the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) for Belgium, Cyprus and Malta, based on the assessment recently presented by Vice-President Rehn (see IP/12/12 and MEMO/12/7). Belgium, Cyprus and Malta were at risk of not meeting their deadlines of 2011 or 2012 to correct their excessive deficit. All three countries appear to have taken effective action to correct the deviations and meet the agreed targets.

The Commission considers that no further steps in the excessive deficit procedure are necessary for these countries, though it will continue to monitor budgetary developments closely.

This is the first time the European Commission has applied the new rules of the strengthened Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), which are part of the so-called "six-pack" on economic governance, which entered into force on 13 December 2011.

Olli Rehn, the European Commission Vice-President for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro said that the process "shows that the six-pack is already delivering. It has given the European Commission teeth to act when countries fail to bring their deficits under control and reduce their debt. Fiscal discipline is crucial to reinforce confidence in our public finances. I stand by my word: I am determined to fully use this new powerful set of tools from Day One."

The Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) is established in the EU Treaty (Article 126) to ensure that Member States correct gross fiscal policy deviations. The various steps of the EDP are listed in the Treaty and specified further in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) legislation - an essential element of substantial reform that reinforces economic governance, including the EU fiscal framework.

6. Eurogroup work programme

Ministers are expected to endorse the Eurogroup work programme.

Council of Economic and Finance Ministers (ECOFIN), 24 January

The EU's Council of Economic and Finance Ministers will start on Tuesday 24 January at 10.00. The European Commission will be represented by Olli Rehn, Vice President and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, as well as by Michel Barnier, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services. A press conference is expected to take place after the meeting.

1. Regulation on over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (CH)

On 15 September 2010, the Commission tabled a proposal for a regulation on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (IP/10/1125). This proposal meets the target set by the G-20 at the 26 September 2009 summit in Pittsburgh, where it was agreed that all standardised OTC derivatives contracts should be cleared though central counterparties by the end of 2012 and that OTC derivatives contracts should be reported to trade repositories and be accessible to supervisory authorities.

An exchange of views on the proposal is foreseen at the ECOFIN. The Commission hopes that the Presidency will obtain a negotiating mandate from the Council to finalise a first reading agreement with the European Parliament.

More information:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/financial-markets/derivatives/index_en.htm

2. Proposals on Economic Governance (AAT)

The Commission's proposals for two regulations on economic governance (see IP/11/1381 and MEMO/11/821) will be discussed by the Ministers. A first regulation deals with enhanced monitoring and assessing of the budgetary plans of euro area member States and ensuring the correction of excessive deficit. The second one is focused on the strengthening of economic and budgetary surveillance of Member States of the euro area experiencing or threatened by serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability.

3. Presentation of the Presidency work programme

The Danish Presidency will present its six-month work programme in the ECOFIN area.

4. European Semester (including the Annual Growth Survey and EuroPlus Pact (AAT)

The Commission published the Annual Growth Survey (AGS) on 23 November 2011 (see IP/11/1381 and MEMO/11/821) and in this way launched the second European Semester. The Commission presented the content of the AGS to the ECOFIN in the end-November meeting. Based on the AGS, in its meeting on 24 January 2012 the ECOFIN will exchange views on the necessary reform measures to strengthen growth and job creation in the context of fiscal consolidation. ECOFIN will draft conclusions on the AGS in its February meeting.

5. Follow-up to the G20 Meeting of Finance Deputies (Mexico, 19-20 January 2012)

The Presidency and the Commission will inform about the discussions in the G20 Finance Deputies' Meeting in Mexico on 19-20 January.

G20 Finance Deputies in Mexico discussed current risks to the global economic outlook, including the sovereign debt crisis, progress made on the G20 Cannes Action Plan for Growth, reforms of the International Financial Architecture during the Mexican G20 Presidency, the state of play of global financial reform, and challenges to the global economy from energy and commodity price developments.

Ministers are expected to follow-up on the discussion on plans to increase the resources of the International Monetary Fund. Last December, euro area member States agreed to contribute with up to €150 billion.

6. Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact (AAT)

Ministers will discuss the implementation of the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) for Belgium, Cyprus, Malta, Poland and Hungary, based on the assessment recently presented by Vice-President Rehn (see IP/12/12 and MEMO/12/7). While Cyprus, Malta, Belgium and Poland appear to have taken effective action to correct the deviations and meet the agreed targets, Hungary has not.

All five countries were at risk of not meeting their deadlines of 2011 or 2012 to correct their excessive deficit. The Commission considers that no further steps in the excessive deficit procedure are necessary for Belgium, Cyprus, Malta and Poland, though it will continue to monitor budgetary developments closely.

The European Commission concluded that Hungary has not made sufficient progress towards a timely and sustainable correction of its excessive deficit, it proposed to move to the next stage of the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) and recommends that the Council of Ministers decides that no effective action has been taken to bring the deficit below 3% of GDP in a sustainable manner. Subject to this Council decision (under Article 126(8) of the EU Treaty), the Commission will then propose to the Council new recommendations addressed to Hungary (under Article 126(7) of the Treaty) with a view to bringing to an end its excessive government deficit.

This is the first time the European Commission has applied the new rules of the strengthened Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), which are part of the so-called "six-pack" on economic governance, which entered into force on 13 December 2011.

(see point 5, page 2)


Side Bar

Mon compte

Gérez vos recherches et notifications par email


Aidez-nous à améliorer ce site