Update – Remarks by Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis at the ECOFIN press conference in Luxembourg are now available.
Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger and Commissioner Pierre Moscovici will represent the Commission at today’s Eurogroup meeting. Ministers will discuss inequality in the euro area, based on the European Commission analysis as well as a presentation by Phillipe Aghion, a French economist and Professor at the College de France and at the London School of Economics. The Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) will inform ministers of the main findings of the sixth post-programme surveillance mission to Cyprus that took place between 18 and 22 March 2019. The Eurogroup will adopt its work programme for the second half of this year. The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, will present the outcome of the IMF’s Article IV consultation with the euro area. Ministers will then continue in an inclusive format to follow up on the December 2018 Euro Summit ahead of the June 2019 Euro Summit on further strengthening Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union. Since December 2018 Euro Summit, discussions have proceeded on the future Budgetary Instrument for Convergence and Competitiveness for the euro area, building on the Commission’s proposal for a Reform Support Programme. An agreement on the main features is within reach and should be taken forward with determination. Commissioner Pierre Moscovici will participate in the press conference following the meeting. Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Pierre Moscovici will also represent the Commission at tomorrow’s ECOFIN meeting. The meeting will begin with a presentation from the Romanian Presidency of a progress report on the state of play of the Banking Union including the implementation of agreed risk reduction measures, measures to tackle non-performing loans in Europe and the proposed European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS). In a related point, the Commission will present its recently published 4th progress report on the reduction of non-performing loans (NPLs) and further risk reduction in the Banking Union. Ministers will then be updated on the state of play and next steps in the enhanced cooperation process among ten participating Member States towards a Financial Transaction Tax. Ministers will hold a debate on the Commission’s 2019 country-specific recommendations which give economic policy guidance to all EU Member States for the next 12 to 18 months. The Council is also expected to adopt a decision allowing Spain to exit the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP), following the Commission’s recommendation. This will be followed by a debate on the Commission’s ‘Clean Planet for All’ Communication, a strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050. Finally, the Commission and the Presidency will report on the results of last weekend’s G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors meeting in Fukuoka, Japan. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229-56153; Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Patrick McCullough – Tel.: +32 229 87183; Guillaume Mercier +32 229 80564)
Click here to read the remarks.