In its recommendation of 16 November for a Council recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area, the European Commission had called for a positive fiscal stance, inviting member states with budgetary space to invest (especially Germany and the Netherlands). The Eurogoup disagrees, arguing that a broadly neutral aggregate fiscal stance in 2017 is appropriate.
The relevant part of the Eurogroup statement of 5 December reads:
"We took note of the Commission Communication and analysis of the fiscal stance calling for a positive fiscal stance. The Eurogroup in July concluded, on the basis of Commission analysis, that the broadly neutral aggregate fiscal stance in 2017 strikes an appropriate balance. The Eurogroup underlines today, the importance to strike an appropriate balance between the need to ensure sustainability and the need to support investment to strengthen the fragile recovery thereby contributing to a more balanced policy mix."