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 (thomas.beukers@eui.eu) or Viorica Vita (viorica.vita@eui.eu).


23 March: ECB presents annual report on supervisory activities

March 23, 2016

Read the full report here.

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10 March: ECB announces new monetary policy measures

March 22, 2016

The Governing Council of the ECB took the following monetary policy decisions: (1) The interest rate on the main refinancing operations of the Eurosystem will be decreased by 5 basis points to 0.00%, starting from the operation to be settled on 16 March 2016. (2) The interest rate on the marginal lending facility will be […]

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7 March: Debt Relief Talks Greece to Start ‘in Near Future’

March 7, 2016

After the Eurogroup meeting of 7 March, President Jeroen Dijsselbloem remarked: "We discussed the state of play, in particular of course of the first review, what the next steps could be. The outcome of that is that the mission chiefs will return to Athens. I'm not sure when exactly, perhaps already tomorrow. There is enough […]

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7 March: Eurogroup supports Cyprus bailout programme exit without arrangement

March 7, 2016

After its meeting, the Eurogroup published a statement supporting the Cypriot authorities' decision to exit the programme without a successor programme: "The Eurogroup supports the Cypriot government's decision to exit its macroeconomic adjustment programme without a successor arrangement. The Eurogroup commends the Cypriot authorities for the overall successful implementation of the programme and the important […]

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2 March: ECB discusses fiscal capacity for euro area at EP hearing

March 2, 2016

At the public hearing of the European Parliament, Benoît Cœuré, member of the Executive Board of the ECB, made the following introductory remarks: "I am grateful to the two rapporteurs and to the two committee chairs for holding this hearing today to advance the public debate on a fiscal capacity for the euro area. We […]

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26 February: Commission publishes in-depth reviews in Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure

February 26, 2016

In its 2016 in-depth review, the Commission considered that 12 Member States are deemed to experience imbalances (out of the 18 countries identified for an in-depth review (IDR) in the Alert Mechanism Report (AMR) of 26 November 2015). Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Italy and Portugal remain in the excessive imbalances category without triggering the Excessive Imbalances […]

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24 February: Portugal adopts 2016 budget

February 24, 2016

After delay caused by the October 2015 general elections, and after a – delayed – interaction with the European Commission over its draft budgetary plans, including this Commission opinion, on 24 February Portugal has adopted its 2016 budget. See Euractiv for further news coverage.

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22 February: Italy presents long-term view on EMU

February 22, 2016

On Monday 22 February Italy presented a government paper on a "Shared European Policy Strategy for Growth, Jobs, and Stability". On the long term EMU the paper states: "To make the monetary union really irreversible we must manage our European common house by adopting a systemic, common vision. A stronger monetary union needs strong common […]

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19 February: Heads of State and Government agree on principles governing relationship euro in’s and out’s

February 20, 2016

Following the UK's request for a New Settlement within the EU and in light of the British referendum on EU membership to be held on 23 June 2016, the Heads of State and Government during their European Council meeting of 18/19 February agreed (next to issues relating to for example social benefits and free movement, […]

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18 February: Advocate General publishes opinion on state aid and bail-in in Slovenia

February 18, 2016

In a preliminary reference following the first reference ever by the Slovenian Constitutional Court (see the earlier comment by Samo Bardutzki) Advocate General Wahl of the European Court of Justice has published his Opinion (Case Cā€‘526/14, Kotnik). According to Wahl the so-called Banking Communication of the European Commission on the application of state aid rules […]

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16 February: ECB again defends OMT before German Constitutional Court

February 17, 2016

In his introductory statement, Member of the ECB Executive Board Yves Mersch focused on the European Court of Justice's judgment in the Gauweiler case of 15 June 2016, and on two points, which the Bundesverfassungsgericht had identified in its communication with the European Central Bank as being significant: 1) timeliness and modalities for the implementation […]

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16 February: European and National Parliaments debate democratic accountability in economic governance

February 16, 2016

As part of the European Parliamentary Week, MEPs and members of national parliaments in the EU have debated ways to increase the democratic accountability of how the EU coordinates the economic policies of member states.

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15 February: Draghi tells EP that ECB monetary policy worked

February 15, 2016

Questioned by the EP's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Monday 15 February about the ECB's monetary policy, President Mario Draghi told MEPs: "Quantitative Easing and our monetary policy decisions worked. Almost half of the recovery over the last two years can be ascribed to our monetary policy. We have seen two years of gradual […]

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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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Privatising state intervention for financial stability: the Italian case – by Agnieszka Smolenska (EUI)

February 13, 2016

Agnieszka Smolenska is a PhD Researcher at the EUI studying the application of state aid rules to banks from 2007 in the context of the emerging frameworks for EU and Eurozone financial regulation and supervision On 10 February Italy passed a series of laws intended to improve the soundness and stability of its banks (Misure […]

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11 February: Brussels says no to further budgetary flexibility for Spain

February 12, 2016

While Spain is still struggling to form a new government after the general elections of 20 December 2015, the Spanish government has confirmed that it has not met the budgetary requirements for 2015. A request by Rajoy for further flexibility was denied in statements after the 11 February Eurogroup meeting by Commissioner Moscovici and President […]

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11 February: Tusk meets key figures in UK economic governance discussion

February 11, 2016

On the second day of discussions between member state sherpa's on the proposals for a New Settlement for the UK presented on 2 February by the President of the European Council, Tusk met with Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, European Central Bank official Benoit Coeure and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss the section on […]

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11 February: Eurogroup supports Commission view on Portuguese budget

February 11, 2016

In a statement following its 11 February meeting, the Eurogroup supports the Commission's view on the Portuguese draft budgetary plans for 2016. The full statement by the Eurogroup reads: "Today, the Eurogroup discussed the Draft Budgetary Plan (DBP) of Portugal, submitted on 22 January, on the basis of the Commission's Opinion, which was published on […]

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11 February: Italian PM says problem euro area is not lack of Finance Minister but austerity

February 11, 2016

In an op-ed in Italian newspaper La Repubblica Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi argues that the problem of the euro area is not the lack of a treasury superminister for the euro area, nor the rules of the SGP themselves. The problem lies in the economic politics of Europe which is based too much on […]

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8 February: German and French Central Bank President plead for Eurozone Finance Ministry

February 8, 2016

In a joined op-ed in the Suddeutsche Zeitung, German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann and French Central Bank President Francois Villeroy de Galhau have made a call for a Eurozone Finance Ministry to deliver sustainable growth, arguing that the ECB is not a position to deliver long-term growth.

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5 February: ECB publishes ANFA agreement on limits to holdings of national central banks

February 5, 2016

The ECB has published its secret Agreement on Net Financial Assets with the national Central Banks after calls by Eurogroup President Dijsselbloem for more transparancy on the agreement. The agreement sets rules and limits for holdings of financial assets which are related to national tasks of the NCBs. For more information on ANFA, see the […]

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5 February: Commission presents opinion on Portuguese draft budgetary plans

February 5, 2016

On 5 February the European Commission has presented its opinion on the Portuguese draft budgetary plans for 2016, calling for extra measures, but not requiring Portugal to submit a new draft. Portugal, due to general elections in October 2015, had failed to comply with the obligation to submit its plans by 15 October (Regulation 473/2013), […]

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4 February: Statement on Third Post-Programme Surveillance mission to Portugal

February 4, 2016

Staff from the European Commission, in liaison with staff from the European Central Bank (ECB), visited Portugal from 25 January to 2 February to conduct the third post-programme surveillance (PPS) mission. On 4 February the institutions issued a joint statement: "Economic and financial conditions in Portugal have remained broadly stable since the conclusion of the second post-programme […]

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2 February: Tusk presents proposal for New Settlement UK

February 3, 2016

In an unusual display of transparency, on Tuesday 2 February President of the European Council Donald Tusk proposed a New Settlement for the UK, making it immediately available to the public. The proposal includes principles to ensure mutual respect between euro in’s and euro out’s combined with a safeguard mechanism, and recalls that as long […]

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1 February: ECB President tells EP reducing and sharing financial risk must go hand in hand

February 3, 2016

On strengthening the euro area recovery Draghi remarked in his introductory statement to the European Parliament: "Our monetary policy is working; and the ECB is willing to contribute its share to ensuring that the recovery remains firmly on track. But there are risks that – if they were to materialise – could undermine its course. […]

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31 January: ECB’s top supervisor says differing rule interpretations cause imbalances

January 31, 2016

Daniele Nouy, chair of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) told in an interview with a Cypriot newspaper that "We need to ensure fully harmonised prudential banking supervision," and that "Our aim is to establish a unified, integrated and harmonised supervisory framework, and this requires harmonised regulation." See the reporting by Reuters.

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Court of Auditors Report on Financial assistance: Lessons from the Initial EU Crisis Response for the Future of EU Economic Governance ā€“ by Agnieszka Smolenska (EUI)

January 28, 2016

Agnieszka Smolenska is a PhD Researcher at the EUI studying the application of state aid rules to banks from 2007 in the context of the emerging frameworks for EU and Eurozone financial regulation and supervision On 26 January the Court of Auditors published a Special Report on “Financial assistance provided to countries in difficulties”, a […]

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26 January: European Court of Auditors presents report on Financial assistance provided to countries in difficulty

January 27, 2016

On 26 January the European Court of Auditors published its report on Financial assistance provided to countries in difficulty, in particular on how well the European Commission managed the assistance provided to five countries — Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Ireland and Portugal. The Court of Auditors finds that the Commission was unprepared for the magnitude of […]

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22 January: Portugal presents Draft Budgetary Plans for 2016

January 25, 2016

On Firday 22 January the Portuguese Government has presented its draft budgetary plans for 2016 to the European Commission, after months of delay caused by parliamentary elections and the appointment of a new government.

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Can the Euro Work without Schengen?

January 22, 2016

German Chancellor Merkel and Commission President Juncker recently both made a direct link between the survival of Schengen and the euro. "Nobody should pretend that you can have a common currency without being able to cross borders reasonably easily", Merkel remarked. Similary, Juncker has stated that "Without Schengen and the free movement of workers, of […]

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21 January: ECB stresses power, willingness and determination to act

January 22, 2016

At it's meeting of 21 January 2016 the ECB Governing Council decided "that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.05%, 0.30% and -0.30% respectively." In the introductory statement to the press conference ECB President Draghi stated: […]

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21 January: EP sets up working group for assistance oversight

January 21, 2016

The European Parliament's Conference of Presidents is reported to have made further decisions on the EP's involvement in oversight of the financial assistance programme for Greece. The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will be tasked with the oversight, and is to be assisted by a Financial Assistance Working Group (FAWG) comprising 30 MEPs, which will […]

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15 January: ECOFIN Council adopts conclusions on Annual Growth Strategy and Alert Mechanism Report

January 16, 2016

In its Conclusions on the Annual Growth Strategy, the Council agreed "on the broad policy priority outlined by the Commission on which national and EU level effrots should concentrate in 2016: Relaunching investment, pursuing structural reforms to modernise our economies, and responsible public finance". In its  Conclusions on the Alter Mechanism Report 2016, the Council […]

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The Frankfurt Protocol: Andrew Duff’s call for a new eurozone treaty

January 15, 2016

Former MEP Andrew Duff, proposes a radical change of EMU through a so-called Frankfurt Protocol, in the form of amendment of the current Treaties. Among the various proposals in the Protocol of Frankfurt are: a concentration of executive power in the European Commission, the formulation and implementation of a common economic policy, a Commission representation […]

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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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6 January : delay reported in EP oversight of euro area governance

January 7, 2016

See for more details the news coverage by Euractiv.

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1 January: SRM comes into effect for the Banking Union

January 4, 2016

See for more details the Commission press release of 31 December 2015. See also the earlier Single Resolution Board (SRB) press release of 30 November 2015 on the SRB's responsibilities as of 1 January 2016.

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Call for Papers: Risk-Sharing Mechanisms for the European Union

December 29, 2015
ADEMU logo-print

  CALL FOR PAPERS “Risk-Sharing Mechanisms for the European Union” European University Institute, 20-21 May 2016 Badia Fiesolana, Teatro As has been recognized in the Four and Five Presidents’ Reports (2012 and 2015), the European Union – and, in particular, the Euro Area – needs mechanisms and institutions capable of absorbing the impact of shocks […]

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22 December 2015: ESM Board of Directors approves disbursement to Greece

December 22, 2015
logo-esm

In its press release the ESM announced: "The Board of Directors of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) today authorised the disbursement of €1 billion to Greece. This disbursement, which follows the Greek government’s completion of the second set of reform milestones, will be used by the government for debt service, budget financing, and co-financing projects […]

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