The complete collection of ECFIN Headlines, as featured on our homepage.
In July, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) remained resilient in the euro area in the wake of the Brexit referendum, marking a marginal increase of 0.2 points (to 104.6), and decreased in the EU (by 0.9 points to 104.8).
Following the Council decision of 12 July 2016 that Spain and Portugal did not take effective action to correct their excessive deficits, the Commission recommended a new fiscal adjustment path for both countries. The College of Commissioners also recommended that the fine be cancelled for both countries.
The Eurogroup discussed the economic situation in the euro area, outcomes of the post-programme surveillance missions in Portugal and Ireland, the budgetary situation in Portugal and Spain, the euro area fiscal stance in 2017 and improving conditions for investment.
On 7 July 2016, in response to 2013 Council recommendations, the College of Commissioners adopted recommendations for Council decisions under Article 126(8) TFEU establishing the absence of effective action by Spain and Portugal for the years 2014 and 2015.
The European Commission and the European Central Bank are working together to protect euro notes and coins in close cooperation with Europol and Interpol. See the 2015 Commission annual report on the Pericles 2020' programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting. For general formation on how the EU is working together to protect euro banknotes and coins from being counterfeited, see this video.
Today, the Commission has proposed additional Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) to Jordan of up to EUR 200 million in medium-term loans at favourable financing conditions.
The EU works to establish a close economic and political dialogue with its neighbouring countries and also offers emergency loans and grants in difficult times. This new video episode of "European Economy Explained" shows how macro-financial assistance is arranged.
In June, after two consecutive months of improved readings, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) remained broadly unchanged in both the euro area (-0.2 points to 104.4) and the EU (+0.1 points to 105.7).
Note: All survey results reported in this press release were collected before the announcement of the results of the UK referendum on EU membership on 24 June.
The Council adopted a decision providing a maximum of €500 million in macro-financial assistance to Tunisia. The aim is to support economic stabilisation of the country and a substantive reform agenda, contributing to reducing its external financing gap. The support will be shared with the IMF, which on 20 May 2016 extended the arrangement under its extended fund facility for Tunisia for US$2.9 billion.
The European Commission takes note of the outcome of the UK Referendum.
See what happens next.
In June 2016, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator remained broadly stable in both the EU (-0.1 points to -5.8) and the euro area (-0.3 points to -7.3) compared to May.
EMU Deepening, CSRs, Anti-Tax Avoidance and Anti-Terrorism Financing.
The European Commission welcomes the agreement on the reform of Money Market Funds (MMFs) that was reached today at the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) of the Council.
The Eurogroup discussed recent inflation and exchange rate developments in the euro area, the sustainability of pension systems and the IMF's recommendations for the euro area. It also adopted its work programme for the second half of 2016.
The 16th Brussels Economic Forum focused on the Economic and Monetary Union, structural reforms, economic adjustment programmes and the European Investment Plan. The opening Tommaso Pado-Schioppa lecture was delivered by ECB president Mario Draghi.
The 2016 Convergence Report, published today, assesses Member States' progress on moving towards euro adoption. This year's report covers the seven Member States that are legally committed to adopt the euro: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden.
In May the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) increased in both the euro area (by 0.7 points to 104.7) and the EU (by 0.5 points to 105.7).
A full staff-level agreement was reached between Greece and the European institutions. The Eurogroup welcomed the adoption by the Greek parliament of most of the agreed prior actions for the first review. Following the full implementation of all prior actions and subject to the completion of national procedures, the ESM governing bodies are expected to endorse the supplemental Memorandum of Understanding and approve the disbursement of the second tranche of the ESM programme.
The Directive on the protection of the euro and other currencies through criminal law measures introduces tougher sanctions for criminals and improved tools for cross-border investigation. These EU rules must be implemented and applied by all Member States as of today.
In May 2016, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator increased markedly in both the EU (by 1.1 points to -5.7) and the euro area (by 2.3 points to -7.0) compared to April.
The latest Eurobarometer survey carried out in April in seven non-euro area countries shows that 52% of respondents think that the introduction of the euro has had positive consequences in the countries that are already using the common currency. Nevertheless, the proportion of respondents who are in favour of introducing the euro in their own country varies widely, from 64% to 29%. In all seven countries, a majority of citizens thinks that they personally would manage to adapt to the euro as their new currency.
18 May. Commission issues country-specific recommendations and recommendations under the Stability and Growth Pact. Member States are making progress with reforms and addressing macroeconomic imbalances, but more is needed to consolidate Europe's recovery.
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and ProCredit group have signed a guarantee agreement to increase lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in Greece.This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.
As regards the issue of debt, this is first and foremost a matter for the Member States and the ESM. I will simply say that ensuring the sustainability of Greece’s debt is a fundamental element of the agreement reached last summer, and as such I also welcome the constructive discussion that took place in the Eurogroup today.
Commission forecasts euro area growth of 1.6% and EU growth of 1.8% in 2016
Economic growth in Europe is expected to remain modest as key trading partners' performance has slowed and some of the so far supportive factors start to wane. As a result, GDP in the euro area is forecast to continue growing at modest rates over the 2015-2017 period.
In April, after three consecutive months of decline, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) picked up in both the euro area (by 0.9 points to 103.9) and the EU (by 0.5 points to 105.1).
The Brussels Economic Forum will take place on 9 June at Flagey Building. We are delighted to be joined by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who will deliver the 5th Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa lecture. Find out more about the programme and confirmed speakers by visiting the BEF 2016 website.
This report by the European Commission presents the findings of the third post-programme surveillance mission to Portugal and identifies remaining challenges for the Portuguese economy.
A team from the European Commission (EC), 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 on financial sector issues.
G20 membership gives the EU the opportunity to ensure its priorities are taken up in the global economic policy debate. In return, the EU benefits from a consistent international framework for the rules of its single market. See how this is a win-win game for all.
Having exited its three-year financial assistance programme at the end of March, Cyprus rejoins the standard economic policy coordination framework under the European Semester.
In March, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) registered the third consecutive drop in both the euro area (by 0.9 points to 103.0) and the EU (by 0.7 points to 104.6).
In March, the flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator decreased further in both the EU (by 0.7 points to -7.3) and the euro area (by 0.9 points to -9.7) compared to February.
On 8 March 2016, the Council adopted conclusions on fiscal sustainability, identifying the challenges faced by member states as concerns their public finances.
EU Member States are making progress in addressing imbalances in their economies. They have also advanced in carrying out the country-specific recommendations issued last year, although to varying degrees across countries and policy areas. These efforts are key in strengthening the European recovery and fostering convergence. They also reflect the focus of this year's European Semester: re-launching investment, implementing structural reforms and pursuing responsible fiscal policies.
The Eurogroup supports the Cypriot government's decision to exit its macroeconomic adjustment programme without a successor arrangement.
The Eurogroup assessed progress made with respect to the implementation of draft budgetary plans (DBPs) of 17 euro area Member States as envisaged in our statement of 23 November, recalling that Cyprus and Greece were not assessed today as they are subject to a macro-economic adjustment programme.
The European Commission published its annual analysis of the economic and social challenges in the EU Member States, the so-called Country Reports. For 18 Member States identified in the Alert Mechanism Report 2016 of November alongside the Annual Growth Survey, the Country Reports include the In-Depth Review under the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure.
In February, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased significantly in both the euro area (by 1.3 points to 103.8) and the EU (by 1.5 points to 105.2), marking its second consecutive decline in 2016.
The European Commission published today a Flash Eurobarometer on "Possible obstacles to using the euro in international trade" as perceived by companies in France, Germany, Italy and the UK in the aircraft and shipbuilding, energy, financial services, and electrical and mechanical engineering industries.
In February 2016, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator decreased sharply in the euro area (by 2.5 points to -8.8) and the EU (by 2.4 points to -6.6) compared to January.
Staff from the European Commission, in liaison with staff from the European Central Bank (ECB), visited Portugal from 15 to 22 June to conduct the fourth post-programme surveillance (PPS) mission. This visit also served as specific monitoring in the framework of the EU Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure. The mission was coordinated with the IMF's fourth post-program monitoring (PPM) mission. Staff from the European Stability Mechanism also participated in the mission on aspects related to its Early Warning System.
The European Commission (EC) is ready to further assist Tunisia in overcoming its economic difficulties and achieving more sustainable growth. The Commission has proposed today additional Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) to Tunisia of up to EUR 500 million.
At the ECOFIN council meeting on 12 February, ministers discussed the Commission's Action Plan to strengthen the fight against terrorist financing; tax avoidance; and the EU’s budget for 2017.
The Eurogroup exchanged views on the economic situation in the euro area, based on the European Commission's presentation of its 2016 winter economic forecast.
The European Commission released its Winter Forecast today. The report – which forecasts a small level of growth across Europe – is an invaluable guide to EU and national policy makers as well as businesses.
The EIPP is an online platform enabling EU-based project promoters to reach potential investors worldwide. It is set-up and managed by the European Commission as part of the Investment Plan for Europe.
An evaluation of the design, implementation and achievements of the July 2012 - January 2014 financial sector assistance programme for Spain.
In January, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased markedly in both the euro area (by 1.7 points to 105.0) and the EU (by 1.8 points to 106.7).
The European Commission has approved the release of EUR 15 million as part of the EU's Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) programme for the Kyrgyz Republic. The payment consists of EUR 5 million in grants and EUR 10 million in loans, and is the second and final part of a EUR 30 million MFA programme.
In January 2016, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator decreased in the euro area (by 0.6 points to -6.3) and, more marginally so, the EU (by 0.3 points to -4.2) compared to December.
This report by the European Commission presents the findings of the fourth post-programme surveillance mission to Ireland and identifies remaining challenges for the Irish economy.
On 14 January 2016, the Eurogroup discussed Greece and Cyprus, the draft European Semester recommendation for the euro area and the interim results of the IMF Article IV consultation.
On 15 January 2016, the Council adopted conclusions related to the Commission's Alert Mechanism Report (AMR), the starting point of the EU's annual Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP), as well as on the Commission's Annual Growth Survey 2016, which marks the starting point of the 2016 European semester.
Read more about the conclusions on Alert Mechanism Report 2016 and on the Annual Growth Survey
In December, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) improved slightly in the euro area (by 0.7 points to 106.8) and, more markedly, in the EU (by 1.4 points to 108.9).
In December 2015, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator increased in the EU (by 0.7 points to -3.7), while it remained broadly stable in the euro area (+0.2 points to -5.7) compared to November.
Governments are the single largest economic actor and employer in most economies. Find out how the European Commission advises them on how to improve their tax and spending policies to support growth and encourage fairness.
>> Read the Public Finances Report
"I would like to first congratulate Minister Gramegna and the Luxembourg Presidency for their tireless work, professionalism and commitment in steering the Council over the past six months. It has been a very successful and productive Presidency."
The Eurogroup was briefed on the activities of the Single Supervisory Mechanism and on the results of the post-programme surveillance mission to Ireland. It also discussed the implementation of Greece's economic adjustment programme and adopted its work programme for the next six months.
The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union (EU), today disbursed 100 million euros in the form of loans to Tunisia.
This is the second tranche of the Macro-financial assistance (MFA) programme to Tunisia, which amounts to 300 million euros in total.
In November, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) remained broadly stable in both the euro area (at 106.1) and the EU (-0.1 points to 107.6).
Today’s package launches the annual cycle of economic governance. It sets out general economic and social priorities for the EU and gives Member States policy guidance for the following year.
In November 2015, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator increased markedly in both the EU (by 1.3 points to -4.4) and the euro area (by 1.6 points to -6.0) compared to October.
The European Commission has completed its assessment of the 16 Draft Budgetary Plans (DBPs) for 2016 that euro area Member States submitted by 15 October.
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 program.
Staff from the European Commission, in liaison with staff from the European Central Bank, visited Ireland to carry out the fourth post-programme surveillance (PPS) mission from 9 to 13 November. This was coordinated with the International Monetary Fund's fourth post-programme monitoring mission. Staff from the European Stability Mechanism also participated in the meetings on aspects related to its Early Warning System.
At the Copenhagen conference in 2009, developed countries committed to jointly mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020 from a wide variety of sources to help developing countries cope with the effects of climate change and the transition to a low-carbon development path. Ahead of the international climate change negotiations in Paris later this month, EU finance ministers reported in November a further scaling-up of Europe’s leading contribution to climate finance for developing countries.
The latest Eurobarometer survey shows that overall support for the euro has further risen in euro area Member States and that a clear majority of citizens support the idea of economic reforms.
The economic recovery in the euro area and the European Union as a whole is now in its third year. It should continue at a modest pace next year despite more challenging conditions in the global economy.
The Economic Sentiment Indicator remained broadly unchanged in the EU (-0.1) & euro area (+0.3). Meanwhile the Business Climate Indicator for the euro area showed improvement (by 0.08 points to +0.44).
The euro has expanded opportunities for citizens and businesses but the crisis showed that we need more closely coordinated economic policies to realise its full benefits. The Presidents of the five institutions overseeing the euro have a vision to complete Europe's Economic and Monetary Union.
The Commission adopted a package of measures to begin implementing the Five Presidents’ Report. It entails a revised approach to the European Semester, the introduction of national Competitiveness Boards and an advisory European Fiscal Board; a more unified representation of the euro area in international financial institutions, especially the IMF; and steps to complete the Banking Union, notably via a European Deposit Insurance Guarantee Scheme.
Staff from the European Commission (EC), in liaison with the European Central Bank (ECB), carried out the fourth post-programme surveillance visit to Spain from 5 to 8 October. The European Stability Mechanism participated in the meetings on aspects related to its own Early Warning System.
The European Commission today adopted its Opinion on the Draft Budgetary Plan (DBP) of Spain for 2016. Spain has been in the corrective arm of the Stability and Growth Pact since April 2009 and has been asked to correct its excessive deficit by 2016. In its DBP, Spain expects the general government deficit to decline to 4.2% of GDP this year and 2.8% in 2016, in line with recommended targets under the excessive deficit procedure and down from 5.8% in 2014.
At the Copenhagen conference in 2009, developed countries committed to jointly mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020 from a wide variety of sources to help developing countries cope with the effects of climate change and the transition to a low-carbon development path.
In September 2015, the Economic Sentiment and Business Climate Indicators both showed improvements in the euro area and the EU at large.
Taxes can do more than just fund public services; they can also support growth, employment, investment, economic competitiveness and social fairness. Find out how the European Commission encourages smarter taxation.
The consumer confidence indicator showed a decrease in the EU, while remaining broadly stable in the euro area compared to August.
In August 2015, the BCI for the euro area decreased (by 0.20 points to +0.21), while the ESI went up a notch in the EU (+0.4 points to 107.0).
The European Commission signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Greece for a new stability support programme late on Wednesday 19 August. The European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Europe's firewall established in 2012 in response to the global financial crisis, will be able to disburse up to EUR 86 billion in loans over the next three years, provided that Greek authorities implement reforms to address fundamental economic and social challenges, as specified in the MoU.
In July, improved euro-area sentiment resulted from higher confidence in industry, services and retail trade. Meanwhile, the Business Climate Indicator has risen 0.14 points.
Staff teams from the IMF and the Commission, in liaison with the ECB, visited Nicosia during July 14-24 2015 to review Cyprus’s economic reform programme.
The teams have reached staff-level agreement on policies that could serve as a basis for completion of the review.
This July, the flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator decreased markedly in both the EU (by 1.6 points to -4.9) and the euro area (by 1.5 points to -7.1) compared to June.
A package of measures agreed today will ensure that the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is up and running by early autumn 2015.
After all-night discussions, eurozone leaders have come to agreement on a new reform package for Greece.
Following the results of the Greek referendum, Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis made these remarks.
Our previous publication structure has been overhauled and streamlined – the original eight series have now been reorganised into 4 series! Visit the publication page for more.
European Commission staff visited Romania to conduct a review of the precautionary EU balance of payments financial assistance programme (2013-15).
Important steps have been taken in some areas and the macroeconomic situation is strong.
To shift economic growth into a higher gear and create more jobs, we need to invest more in the real economy. The European Union is helping countries and businesses to work as a team; identifying priorities and engineering solutions. A core part of this strategy is the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe, which should mobilise 315 billion euros of investment over the next three years.
Plans were revealed on how to deepen the Economic and Monetary Union as of 1 July 2015 and how to complete it by latest 2025.
Staff from the European Commission, in liaison with staff from the European Central Bank, visited Portugal from 4 to 12 June to conduct the second post-programme surveillance mission. This visit also served as specific monitoring in the framework of the EU Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure.
The European Commission adopted on 27 May a report on the introduction of the euro in Lithuania. This report covers the most important aspects of the changeover process from an ex post perspective, acknowledging that the changeover in Lithuania was well prepared and smoothly implemented. The report also draws some useful conclusions for future changeovers in other Member States.
EU legislators successfully concluded negotiations on the Regulation for a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the core of the Investment Plan for Europe. This means that the Fund will become operational and start financing projects at the end of the summer.
Today in Riga, European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, Ukraine's Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko and the Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Valeria Gontareva signed a Memorandum of Understanding and loan agreement for the third EU Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) programme to Ukraine.
Following the recent visit to Nicosia by teams from the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission, in liaison with the European Central Bank, to review Cyprus's economic reform programme, staff-level agreement has been reached on policies that could serve as a basis for completion of the review.
The Commission published today new recommendation under the Excessive Deficit Procedure for Finland, Malta, Poland and the United Kingdom.
The Ageing Report, released every three years, explores the impact that demographic changes will have on the economy of the EU.
Pierre Moscovici addresses Greece, Cyprus and Ireland.
The Commission, the ECB, and the IMF welcome the Cypriot authorities’ continued progress on their reform programme.
Staff-level agreement on the review will be possible as soon as all elements of the insolvency and foreclosure framework are available.
This report provides an assessment of Spain's economic, fiscal and financial situation and is based on the findings of visits to Madrid on 12-18 March and 14 April 2015 by staff from the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB). The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) participated in the meetings on aspects related to its own Early Warning System. The report also covers the specific monitoring by the Commission of policy progress in the context of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP).
The latest Eurobarometer survey carried out in seven non-euro area countries shows that a majority of citizens in four of them are in favour of introducing the common currency. In all seven countries, most think they will personally manage to adapt to the euro as their new currency.
Today the European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, disbursed a loan of €100 million to Tunisia. This is the first of three such payments to be provided under the Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) programme approved by the EU in May 2014, totalling in €300 million.
Economic growth in the European Union is benefitting from short-term factors that are boosting an otherwise mild cyclical upswing.
Watch the press conference.
Staff from the European Commission, in liaison with staff from the European Central Bank (ECB), visited Ireland to carry out the third post-programme surveillance (PPS) mission from 27 April to 1 May. This was coordinated with the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) third post-programme monitoring (PPM) mission.
Pierre Moscovici remarks on discussions surrounding Greece, Cyprus and Spain after the latest Eurogroup meeting.
This April, the flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator decreased in both the EU (by 0.4 points to -2.2) and the euro area (by 0.9 points to -4.6) compared to March.
Today the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced that it has approved up to €300 million in financing for the first four projects as part of the Investment Plan for Europe. It will cover R&D, health care, industrial innovation and transport projects.
In July 2015, the nine-teen euro-area countries will jointly issue a commemorative euro coin to celebrate 30 years of the EU flag. Euro-area citizens and residents are invited to select the winning design by public web-voting until 27 May 2015 at www.coin-competition.eu.
Europe's economies are interdependent and when one of them gets out of balance, it may affect others too. The European Commission works with countries to identify risks early on and correct them before they threaten the economic stability of the EU. Find out why this is important.
The Support Group for Cyprus published its 2nd report. The Support Group coordinates the technical assistance requested by Cyprus to help implement reforms from its economic adjustment programme and facilitate economic growth.
Staff from the European Commission, in liaison with the European Central Bank, carried out the third post-programme surveillance visit to Spain from 12-18 March. The European Stability Mechanism participated in the meetings on aspects related to its own Early Warning System.
Joint statement by Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Juncker and Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Greece.
On the 9th March there was a meeting of the Eurogroup to discuss the major issues facing the European economy. Afterwards, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici had these comments to offer.
10th March: The Commission presents to the ECOFIN Council the Country Reports as part of the new streamlined European Semester of economic policy coordination.
The Commission recommends that no excessive deficit procedure is triggered for Belgium, Italy and Finland.
The Commission also recommends that France be given until 2017 to correct its excessive deficit.
All documents now available online.
In February, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) rose for the second month in a row. It increased by 0.7 points in the euro area (to 102.1) and by 0.4 points in the EU (to 105.1). The positive development in both regions was fuelled mainly by more optimistic consumers.
The Commission today sent a strong signal to Member States to carry out structural reforms and to continue consolidating their public finances.
"The Commission services have carefully reviewed the Greek government's reform proposals sent to you yesterday as President of the Eurogroup". Letter by Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Pierre Moscovici to the President of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
The Council discussed the Investment plan for Europe, growth prospects and macroeconomic imbalances and the EU budget.
The discussions covered Greece, Cyprus, the early repayment of Portugal's IMF loans, the economic situation in the euro area and deepening Economic and Monetary Union.
The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union (EU), today disbursed 100 million euros in the form of loans to Jordan.
This is the first tranche of the Macro-financial assistance (MFA) programme to Jordan, which amounts to 180 million euros in total.
Teams from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission (EC) visited Bucharest to continue discussions on the third review under the precautionary IMF Stand-By Agreement and on the first review of Romania’s precautionary balance of payments programme… Read more
Staff teams from the European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund visited Nicosia during January 27 to February 6. They discussed with the Cypriot authorities... Read more
The European Commission released its Winter Forecast today. The report – which forecasts a small level of growth across Europe – is an invaluable guide to EU and national policy makers as well as businesses.
A Eurobarometer survey conducted in Lithuania after the euro fully replaced Lithuanian litas shows that support for the common currency has increased while a substantial majority of citizens say the changeover happened smoothly and efficiently.
In January 2015, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator increased slightly in both the euro area (by 0.6 points to 101.2) and the EU (by 0.5 points to 104.6).
Report on the second post-programme surveillance review for Ireland, and on recent economic developments and outlook for Ireland.
On 19 January, the Commission and the European Investment Bank launched fi-compass, a new advisory service on financial instruments for the European Structural and Investment Funds.
This service is an important part of the EU Investment Plan.
The Commission publishes guidance on how the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact will be applied to strengthen the link between structural reforms, investment and fiscal responsibility.
Economic Sentiment again stable in both the euro area and the EU.
The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area decreased by 0.13 points to +0.04.
Today the Commission has proposed new macro-financial assistance to Ukraine of up to €1.8 billion in medium-term loans.
Read full press release.
The euro changeover in Lithuania is reaching its final stage. On 7 January, about every second person polled confirmed to have mostly or only euro cash in the wallet.
The dual circulation period will come to an end on 15 January 2015.
On 1 January 2015, Lithuania adopted the euro as its official currency and the changeover is running smoothly and according to plan.
By Saturday, 3 January, 89% of customers were getting their change in euro. No major problems were observed in banks or in the retail sector.
As from 1 January 2015, Lithuania is the newest member of the euro area to share the same currency with over 330 million people in 18 Member States of the European Union.
Read the full press release.
On 1st January 2015, Lithuania will become a full member of the euro area. Belonging to the euro area is much more than sharing a currency with other countries. It is about joining a community based on solidarity, responsibility and mutual benefits. To illustrate this, the Audiovisual Services of the European Commission have produced a stockshot.
The economic and financial conditions in Portugal have further improved since the end of the EU/IMF-supported programme in June 2014. Nevertheless, it is essential that the authorities implement with resolve further structural reforms, public finances continue to be consolidated in a durable manner and access to credit markets is maintained.
In December 2014, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator increased slightly, by 0.6 points, in both the EU (to -7.5) and the euro area (to -10.9).
This report presents (i) recent developments in public finances; (ii) latest improvements in the EU budgetary surveillance framework; (iii) a comparison between budgetary targets in the planning and the implementation phase, and (iv) an assessment of the effectiveness of expenditure-based consolidations in ensuring sound public finances in the EU.
From the deepest economic crisis the world economy has seen since the great depression, Europe is emerging with new common institutions and a greater commitment to shared responsibility and solidarity. Understand why the crisis happened and how Europe responded.
Georgia can count on continuing support from the European Union.
Commissioner Moscovici signed on 11 December 2014 the Memorandum of Understanding for a €46 million Macro-Financial Assistance programme to Georgia.
"The Commission has set out the economic policy priorities in its Annual Growth Survey. We call for targeted investment, ambitious structural reforms and fiscal responsibility.", said VP Dombrovskis at the ECOFIN press conference on 9 December.
"This is not just a one-off stimulus measure, but a structural plan - or structural reform – at European level." said VP Katainen. "It was very nice to hear the feedback from the ministers, who said that this whole comprehensive approach is exactly what is needed."
The Investment Plan is a triangle: liquidity, project pipeline, Single Market.
The European Commission closely monitors the economic situation throughout Europe. It helps governments to coordinate so that they all work together for the common good and it provides robust and independent assessments of national policies. Understand how it works.
"It has been agreed in principle that there will be a technical extension of the EFSF programme for two months." said Commissioner Moscovici. "The Commission also welcomes Greece’s intention to request an Enhanced Conditions Credit Line from the ESM."
The statement of the Eurogroup on Greece is available here.
The IMF and EC teams reached broad understanding with the authorities on the 2015 budget.
The draft budget is consistent with reaching the medium-term budgetary objective in 2015 while accommodating a faster absorption of EU funds.