Pierre Moscovici, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, and Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Minister for Finance and President of the Eurogroup, held a joint press conference following the first session of the Eurogroup meeting on 5 December 2016 in Brussels.
The Ministers discussed the euro area Member States' draft budgetary plans for 2017. The discussion was based on the European Commission's opinions on these plans, published on 16 November. According to the Commission's findings, eight countries - Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain - have budgetary plans that are at risk of non-compliance with the fiscal rules specified in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). The Eurogroup broadly concurred with the European Commission's opinions.
Ministers also discussed the budgetary situation and prospects for the euro area as a whole. They underlined the importance of striking the right balance between ensuring fiscal sustainability and supporting investment to strengthen the fragile recovery.
The Eurogroup took note of the Commission Communication and analysis of the fiscal stance calling for a positive fiscal stance in the euro area.