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Brussels, 28 October 2014
Statement by Vice-President Katainen on the Draft Budgetary Plans
Under the strengthened budgetary policy coordination introduced in 2013 and being implemented for only the second time this autumn, euro area countries are required to submit draft budgetary plans for the following year by 15 October. The European Commission must adopt an opinion on each of these by 30 November. However, in cases where the Commission identifies "particularly serious non-compliance with the budgetary policy obligations laid down in the Stability and Growth Pact", it is required to adopt its opinion within two weeks of the plans' submission.
Over the past two weeks, the Commission has carried out consultations with certain Member States to request further information or to highlight some initial concerns related to the draft budgetary plans they submitted. I want to welcome the fact that these Member States have responded constructively to our concerns.
After taking into account all of the further information and improvements communicated to us in recent days, I cannot immediately identify cases of "particularly serious non-compliance" which would oblige us to consider a negative opinion at this stage in the process.
Our services will now work to complete their detailed assessment of the draft budgetary plans and the new Commission will adopt its opinions on these in November. Any shortcomings or risks will be clearly highlighted at that point. Any possible further steps under the Stability and Growth Pact will be assessed at a later stage, taking into account the Commission's Autumn Economic Forecast and the opinions on the draft budgetary plans.