News & Comments

We welcome short entries about relevant European or national developments for this News and Comments section. You are invited to use the contact form for this or to directly contact Thomas Beukers ( or Viorica Vita (

The Proposal on Unified Eurozone External Representation is no Panacea – by Chris Koedooder (UvA)

May 29, 2016

Chris Koedooder is a PhD Researcher at the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG), University of Amsterdam.   Late last year, the European Commission finally unveiled its proposal for a Council decision on unified representation of the Eurozone in the IMF. The proposal had been a long time in the making. It followed […]

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16 June: IMF advocates budgetary capacity euro area

June 16, 2016

At the Eurogroup of 16 June,  IMF Director Christine Lagarde has again advocated the creation of a fund to help finance structural reforms in the euro area. See the reporting by Reuters.

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11 July: IMF discusses Italian banking sector concerns in Article IV consultation

July 12, 2016

Amidst talks between Brussels and Rome about possible recapitalisation of the Italian banking sector, suffering from a high burden of non-performing loans and the impact of the UK referendum on Brexit, as well as the application of European state aid rules, the IMF has published its 2016 Article IV consultation on Italy. Read the full […]

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28 July: IMF self-critical of Greek bailout

July 28, 2016

The Internal Evaluation Office (IEO) of the IMF on Thursday night 28 July has published a highly critical report on the institution's participation in the Greek bailouts. The report on the role of the IMF in the Greek, Irish and Portuguese crises comes at an important moment, as the IMF is still formally to decide on […]

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12 December: IMF claims it is not asking for more Greek austerity

December 12, 2016

In a blogpost, IMF economist Obstfeldt and Director of the IMF's European Department Thomsen have reacted to criticism that the IMF would be demanding more fiscal austerity for Greece, in particular for making this a condition for urgently needed debt relief. According to Obstfeldt and Thomsen, these allegations are not true. For the IMF a primary […]

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7 february: IMF staff report on Greek debt sustainability published

February 7, 2017

An IMF staff report published on 7 February calls on the euro area to offer significant debt relief to Greece. It summarises: "Despite the policy constraints imposed by its membership in the currency union, Greece has made significant progress in unwinding its macroeconomic imbalances. But extensive fiscal consolidation and internal devaluation have come with substantial […]

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20 December 2015: Greek Prime Ministers calls on IMF to stay out of Programme

December 20, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is pushing for the IMF to stay out of Greece's third bailout programme, leaving the eurozone to take full responsibility for overseeing economic reforms, the Financial Times reports in an interview. Tsipras' resentment of IMF involvement has been no secret, especially after he clashed on the matter with Germany on […]

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21 November 2015: Review mission Cyprus economic reform programme

November 21, 2015

Read the statement by the European Commission, ECB and IMF: Staff teams from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission (EC), in liaison with the European Central Bank (ECB), visited Nicosia during November 3-13 to review Cyprus’s economic reform programme. Cyprus’s programme, which is supported by financial assistance from the European Stability Mechanism […]

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Further development of the EMU: should legitimacy come first or last? – by Päivi Leino-Sandberg

November 2, 2015

Païvi Leino-Sandberg is Adjunct Professor of EU Law, Academy of Finland Research Fellow, University of Helsinki and co-author of the Report on Finland available on this website. (This comment first appeared on the EU Law Analysis Blog: The June 2012 the President of the European Council presented a report to the European Council setting out […]

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14 January: Greece accepts role IMF in financial assistance

January 15, 2016

Before discussing the Greek reform progress at the Eurogroup meeting of 14 January, President Dijsselbloem commented that Greek Finance Minister "Tsakalotos confirmed to me that the Greek government accepts that the IMF needs to be part of the process". Prime Minister Tsipras has always strongly opposed involvement of the IMF in the third Greek financial […]

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14 January: Eurogroup discusses draft Council recommendation on euro area

January 14, 2016

For the main results see here: "The Eurogroup exchanged views on the implementation of the 2015 euro area recommendation and discussed the draft Council recommendation on economic policy of the euro area for 2016, which is scheduled to be approved by the ECOFIN Council on 15 January 2016. Ministers agreed on five policy priorities for […]

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14 February: IMF expresses concern over Greece

February 14, 2016

While the institutions are carrying out the first review mission in the framework of the third financial assistance package to Greece, pension reform plans are among the most controversial issues. Tension is mounting between Greece and the IMF, currently not participating in the programme and only prepared to do so in the presence of credible […]

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23 May: IMF suggests detailed modalities of debt relief ahead of Eurogroup

May 24, 2016

On Monday 23 May, one day before a Eurogroup meeting devoted to Greece, IMF staff has published a report with a critical preliminary debt sustainability analysis of Greece. The report was distributed to the IMF Executive Board in the morning, but – the report explicitly mentioned – was neither discussed nor approved by the same […]

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Is the IMF necessary for the 3rd Greek Program? – by Alexandros Kyriakidis (University of Sheffield)

April 20, 2016

Alexandros Kyriakidis is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Politics of the University of Sheffield Tensions have been growing between Greece and the IMF, including a highly controversial Wikileaks leaked conversation between the IMF Mission Chief for Greece and the Head of IMF’s European Department that raised issues at the highest level, with letters […]

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22 April: first programme review Greece discussed at Eurogroup

April 22, 2016

No agreement was reached yet on either the conclusion of the first review of the Greek programme or – with the IMF in particular – on debt sustainability. Instead it was agreed that in the coming days a special contingent package of additional measures should be negotiated, that would be implemented only if necessary to […]

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9 May: Eurogroup agrees principles on Greek debt measures

May 11, 2016

In an attempt to secure IMF participation in the 3rd Greek assistance programme, the Eurogroup of Monday 9 May agreed that: "In line with the statements of the Euro Summit and the Eurogroup in the summer of 2015, the Eurogroup stands ready to consider, if necessary, possible additional debt measures aiming at ensuring that Greece's […]

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