Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, gave a press conference on the Autumn Fiscal Package 2013. This package marked a milestone in Europe's reinforced economic governance. The past years have seen big improvements in the EU's economic governance with the introduction of a coherent annual cycle of budgetary policy and structural policy in Europe, with more integrated steps for the euro area.
In the first half of the yearly cycle, under the European Semester, euro area Member States formulated their medium-term fiscal policies in their Stability Programmes, which the EC assessed against the provisions under the Stability and Growth Pact. On the basis of the Commission's work, the Council addressed recommendations to Member States, covering fiscal policy and structural reforms.
In the second half of the year, the Member States then finalised their economic policy orientation and their national budgets, and were expected to take into account the commonly agreed policies. This autumn 2013, for the first time, euro area Member States submitted their draft budgetary plans for the following year to the EC and to the Eurogroup.