In a report published on 19 April 2016, the European Court of Auditors is critical of the way the European Commission implements the excessive deficit procedure, and argues that the application lacks consistency and transparency and that the Commission does not adequately record its underlying assumptions or share its surveillance findings for the greater benefit […]Read More..
News & Comments
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A team from the European Commission, in liaison with staff from the European Central Bank (ECB), carried out the fifth post-programme surveillance visit to Spain on 11-13 April 2016. The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) participated in the meetings on aspects relating to its early warning system. The mission was limited in scope, and mainly focused […]Read More..
After an invitation from Greek Prime Minister Tsipras, the European Parliament has created a Working Group within the ECON Committee, to strengthen its efforts to ensure a strong parliamentary scrutiny of financial assistance programmes. The first fact-finding mission of the ECON Working Group took place in Athens on 30 and 31 March 2016. The delegation […]Read More..
In a joint declaration left-wing Prime Ministers Costa and Tsipras of Portugal and Greece expressed their dissatisfaction with the EU anti-austerity policy.Read More..
Read the introductory statement of ECB Vice-President Vítor Constâncio here.Read More..
Having exited the financial assistance programme, many rules of the economic governance framework again apply also to Cyprus. This includes the macroeconomic imbalances procedure, and in fact the European Commission on 7 April published its 2016 Country Report on Cyprus including an in-depth review on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances.Read More..
On 31 March 2016, Cyprus has exited its financial assistance programme, three years of it had agreed to the programme in March 2013 (after an initial request in June 2012). This means Cyprus is now again subject to many rules of the normal EU economic governance framework and also subject to post-programme surveillance (PPS) until […]Read More..
Read the full report here.Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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.Read More..
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 […]Read More..
19 February: Heads of State and Government agree on principles governing relationship euro in’s and out’sFebruary 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, […]Read More..
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 C‑526/14, Kotnik). According to Wahl the so-called Banking Communication of the European Commission on the application of state aid rules […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
16 February: European and National Parliaments debate democratic accountability in economic governanceFebruary 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.Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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.Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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), […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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. […]Read More..
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.Read More..
Court of Auditors Report on Financial assistance: Lessons from the Initial EU Crisis Response for the Future of EU Economic Governance – 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 […]Read More..
26 January: European Court of Auditors presents report on Financial assistance provided to countries in difficultyJanuary 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 […]Read More..
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.Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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: […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..