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).


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
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  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
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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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20 December 2015: Spanish coalition government inevitable after elections

December 20, 2015

In the Spanish general elections of 20 December 2015 Prime Minister Rajoy's Partido Popular (PP) received most votes, followed by the Socialist Party (PSOE), Podemos and Ciudadanos. The success of newcomer parties Podemos and Ciudadanos for the first time in decades makes the formation of a coalition government or minority government in Spain inevitable: neither […]

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

December 20, 2015
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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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18 December 2015: European Council discusses EMU

December 18, 2015

In their meeting of 17/18 December 2015 the Heads of State and Government of the European Union discussed the migration crisis, the fight against terrorism, the British reform demands, the completion of the single market, and the Five Presidents' Report. On EMU, they concluded: "14. Further to the Five Presidents' report on completing the Economic […]

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17 December 2015: EP calls for more parliamentary oversight of euro area governance

December 18, 2015

The European Parliament's plenary on 17 December adopted a Resolution stating that more parliamentary oversight and public debate is needed to ensure democratic accountability and to get citizens on board. In the Resolution, prepared by MEP Roberto Gualtier, the European Parliament is calling for an Interinstitutional Agreement between the Commission, EP, Council and Eurogroup covering […]

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The ESM, the 3rd Greek package and National Parliaments: Germany – by Malte Kröger

December 17, 2015

Malte Kröger (malte.kroeger@uni-hamburg.de) is currently legal trainee (Referendar) at the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg and a PhD-candidate at the Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy Graduate School of Law at Hamburg’s Law Faculty. Malte is the author of the Report on Luxembourg and the Report on Malta on this website, and is currently also completing the Report […]

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The ESM, the 3rd Greek package and National Parliaments: Portugal – by Rita De Brito Gião Hanek

December 16, 2015

Rita De Brito Gião Hanek is a lawyer and legal consultant working with governmental and nongovernmental organizations on public law, public international law and international human rights law projects and is also co-author of the Report on Portugal on this website Parliamentary approval of financial assistance provided under the ESM is not required in Portugal. […]

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15 December 2015: Greek Parliament approves new milestones

December 16, 2015

In its statement of 14 August 2015 on the ESM Programme for Greece, the Eurogroup stated: "The first tranche under the ESM programme of EUR 26 bn will consist of two sub-tranches. The first sub-tranche of EUR 10 bn will be made available immediately in a segregated account at the ESM for bank recapitalisation and […]

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13 December 2015: ESM Managing Director Regling says Grexit not excluded

December 14, 2015

In an interview with Greek newspaper To Vima the Managing Director of the ESM Klaus Regling commented: "The monetary union was designed in a way that no exit of any country was anticipated. Therefore, there is no framework for that. Greece has agreed to implement reforms which are necessary so that its partners can provide […]

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Report on Lithuania now online!

December 13, 2015

Read the full text of the report here.

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8 December 2015: ECOFIN discussion on flexibility within the SGP

December 8, 2015

The 8 December ECOFIN has discussed the issue of flexibility within the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). The discussion follows the Communication of the European Commission of 13 January 2015 to other relevant institutions on how to make the best use of the flexibility within the existing rules on the SGP. The Communication gives clarifications […]

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8 December 2015: ECOFIN Ministers endorse public bridge financing arrangement for SRF

December 8, 2015

In the margins of the ECOFIN Council the Ministers of the 28 Member States issued the following statement on Banking Union and bridge financing arrangements for the Single Resolution Fund: "ECOFIN Ministers reaffirm the importance of deepening the Banking Union in the context of a well-functioning Economic and Monetary Union. Following the successful establishment of […]

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ADEMU Workshop announcement 11 December: Legal and Institutional Dimensions of EMU. Economists and Legal Scholars in Discussion

December 7, 2015

Legal and Institutional Dimensions of EMU: Economists and Legal Scholars in Discussion European University Institute 11 December 2015 Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia The purpose of this workshop is to begin discussions on four key areas in which actual or proposed changes to EMU can meet with legal and institutional constraints or raise important issues of […]

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Latvians do not trust Greeks or how Latvia approved the Third Greek Bailout: Parliamentary involvement – by Zane Rasnača

December 5, 2015

Zane Rasnača is PhD Researcher in Law at the European University Institute and author of the ‘Report on Latvia’ on this website. The tumultuous road towards Latvian support for the Third Greek Bailout was marked by strong scepticism from both politicians and the general public. Already in late 2013 when Latvia was in the process […]

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3 December 2015: ECB extends Quantitative Easing programme

December 4, 2015

The ECB Governing Council has decided to extend one of its non-standard monetary policy measure, the asset purchase programme (APP). The monthly purchases of €60 billion under the APP are now intended to run until the end of March 2017, or beyond, if necessary, and in any case until the Governing Council sees a sustained […]

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2 December 2015: Conference of Presidents decides EP will establish bailout oversight

December 3, 2015

The Conference of Presidents of the political groups in the European Parliament has decided on 2 December that the European Parliament will establish the structure and the process for the oversight of financial adjustment programmes, following an earlier request by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for EP oversight of the Greek bailout programme. Greens/EFA president […]

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1 December 2015: ESM releases 2,72 billion euro to Greece for bank recapitalisation

December 2, 2015

The Board of Directors of the ESM has decided to release €2.72 billion to Greece to recapitalise Piraeus Bank. The decision came after approval by the European Commission of additional state aid based on the bank’s amended restructuring plan.

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1 December 2015: EP committee adopts critical Resolution on Commission’s EMU plans

December 2, 2015

The European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee has adopted a critical resolution on the European Commission's plans on Completing Europe's Economic and Monetary Union. A debate in the EP's plenary is scheduled for 14 December.

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30 November 2015: ratification threshold SRF intergovernmental agreement reached

December 1, 2015

In line with article 11(2) of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Single Resolution Fund, the agreement has entered into force after ratification by enough parites (more specifically representing 90% of the aggregate of the weighted votes of all the Member States participating in the Single Supervisory Mechanism and the Single Resolution mechanism). This means that […]

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26 November 2015: Commission presents proposal on the Structural Reform Support Programme

November 27, 2015

The European Commission has presented a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on the establishment of the Structural Reform Support Programme for the period 2017-2020. Member States may benefit from support in addressing challenges as regards the design and implementation of institutional, structural and administrative reforms. The intention is to […]

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26 November 2015: Commission launches 2016 European Semester

November 27, 2015

The European Commission has launched the annual economic governance cycle of 2016 presenting the Annual Growth Survey. The Commission recommends building on the three main pillars for the EU's economic and social policy: re-launching investment, pursuing structural reforms, and responsible fiscal policies. The package presented reflects the new approach to the European Semester set out […]

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26 November 2015: Commission kick starts Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure

November 26, 2015

The Commission has presented its Alert Mechanism Report 2016, the annual starting point of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure. Based on a scoreboard of indicators, the Alert Mechanism Report identifies countries for which a closer analysis (in-depth review) is deemed necessary. The outcome of these in-depth reviews forms the basis for further steps under the Macroeconomic […]

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24 November 2015: Commission proposes deposit insurance scheme for euro area

November 24, 2015

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a regulation establishment a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) based on article 114 TFEU. The would be mandatory for euro area Member States and open to non-euro area Member States willing to join the banking union. See also the Commission's press release and these factsheets prepared by […]

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24 November 2015: President Portugal appoints new Prime Minister

November 24, 2015

President of Portugal Anibal Cavaco Silva appointed Socialist Leader Antonio Costa as the new Prime Minister after the early collapse of the minority right wing government that took office after the elections of October 4. The President asked for guarantees from the leftwing parties, concerning the 2016 budget, EU budgetary rules, Portugal's NATO commitments, the […]

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23 November 2015: ESM Board of Directors authorises disbursement to Greece

November 23, 2015

Today the Board of Directors of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) authorised the disbursement of €2 billion to Greece, following, following the Greek government’s completion of the first set of milestones and a positive statement by the Eurogroup: "The Eurogroup welcomes the completion by the Greek authorities of the first set of milestones and the […]

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23 November 2015: Eurogroup statement on draft budgetary plans for 2016

November 23, 2015

Today the following statement was adopted by the Eurogroup: "The close coordination of Member States' fiscal policies significantly contributes to the strength and cohesion of the euro area. This cohesion and appreciation of common challenges is all the more important when policy-making is confronted by major challenges and uncertainty such as now following the events […]

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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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20 November 2015: Finnish Parliament to debate euro membership in 2016

November 20, 2015

Following a petition signed by the necessary 50.000 citizens, Finland's Parliament in 2016 will debate whether to leave the euro. The objective of the petition is to have a referendum on euro membership, but this will only happen if supported by Parliament. For more details, see Euractiv.

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19 November 2015: Greek Parliament approves reform law

November 20, 2015

The Greek Parliament has approved a set of prior actions, including a home foreclosures bill, part of a deal between Greece on the one hand and the European Commission, ECB, ESM and IMF on the other hand on the measures needed for approval by the eurozone Finance Ministers of a disbursement of € 2 billion. […]

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17 November 2015: Commission will allow budget flexibility for France after Paris attacks

November 17, 2015

After French Prime Minister Valls announced that increased security spending will prevent France from respecting its EU budget deficit target, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Moscovici commented that "The security of citizens is the absolute priority, and the commission will show full understanding." See for further reporting Reuters, EUObserver and The Guardian.

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17 November 2015: deal between Greece and creditors paves way to ESM disbursement

November 17, 2015

The Greek government is reported to have reached a deal with the European Commission, ECB, ESM and IMF on the measures needed for approval by the eurozone Finance Ministers of the disbursement of € 2 billion. Last week the Eurogroup failed to gave a green light to the disbursement. For more details see the news […]

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16 November 2015: Commission presents opinions on draft budgetary plans

November 16, 2015

The Commission has published its opinions on the national draft budgetary plans. All eurozone member states apart from Portugal (elections), Greece and Cyprus (both subject to a macroeconomic adjustment programme) had presented their draft budgetary plans in accordance with Regulation No 473/2013 (two-pack). The Commission urges Portugal to submit a draft budgetary plan as soon […]

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13 November 2015: post-programme surveillance mission to Ireland

November 14, 2015

From 9-13 November staff from the Commission, in liaison with the ECB and in coordination with the IMF carried out the fourth post-programme surveillance mission to Ireland. See the Commission or ECB press release for more details.

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10 November 2015: minority government Portugal falls after less than 2 weeks

November 10, 2015

A vote of no confidence by 123 out of 230 MPs today brought the Portuguese minority government led by Pedro Passos Coelho down, when both the government program and the budget were rejected. This early exit of the minority government follows the decision by President Cavaco Silva not to have a left-wing coalition government because […]

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