The complete collection of ECFIN Headlines, as featured on our homepage.
Economic Sentiment stable in the euro area, decreasing slightly in the EU.
The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area decreased marginally by 0.04 points to +0.17.
The latest Eurobarometer survey shows positive developments in several areas.
It registered a 10 year record high in the number of citizens who feel their voice counts and growing optimism about the economic situation and the future of the EU.
The Cyprus authorities have pursued a cautious fiscal policy, which allowed them to over-achieve fiscal targets consistently. The macroeconomic outlook remains broadly unchanged compared to the fourth review.
Given still high risks, continued full and timely policy implementation remains essential for the success of the program.
Lithuania will join the euro area on 1 January 2015. Fixed conversion rate : €1 = 3.45280 Lithuanian Litas.
Speeches by Jyrki KATAINEN and Algirdas ŠEMETA, Members of the EC, Sandro GOZI, Italian Secretary of State for European Affairs, Peter PRAET, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Algirdas BUTKEVIČIUS, Rimantas ŠADŽIUS, Vitas VASILIAUSKAS, and Linas LINKEVIČIUS, members of the Lithuanian Government and Central Bank.
The Commission today reported on Lithuania's practical preparations for the changeover to the euro.
The report confirmed that preparations for Lithuania to join the euro area on 1 January 2015 are proceeding well.
The Commission's Task Force for Greece has published its seventh activity report, covering the period February-May 2014.
Learn more about the Task Force for Greece.
Following his confirmation by the European Parliament on 16 July, Jyrki Katainen has now formally taken up his duties as European Commission Vice-President responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro.
The Council supports the objectives of the Italian Presidency to boost growth and jobs.
In this context, the Commission will report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the application of the EU governance framework by 14 December 2014.
The Council issued recommendations and opinions on economic, employment and fiscal policies planned by the member states.
The European Council will endorse the recommendations on 27 July.
The programme aims to address the financial, fiscal and structural challenges facing the economy in a decisive manner and should allow Cyprus to return to a sustainable growth path.
This report assesses compliance with the terms and conditions set out in the programme with the Cypriot authorities.
Following the European elections, Olli Rehn has resigned from the European Commission in order to take up a seat in the European Parliament from 1 July 2014.
President Barroso has decided that VP Kallas will take responsibility for economic and monetary affairs and the Euro, pending a decision on the replacement of Mr Rehn.
The European Commission mission was linked to the EU balance of payments assistance provided to Hungary between 2008 and 2010.
The mission welcomed recent improvements in the macroeconomic situation and called for specific measures to stimulate economic growth and boost structural reforms.
Economic Sentiment down in the euro area, broadly stable in the EU.
The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area decreased by 0.14 points to +0.22.
The euro area member states agreed with the Commission's assessment that Lithuania has achieved a high degree of sustainable convergence with the euro area, and that it therefore fulfils the conditions for adopting the euro as its currency.
11 EU member states will remain subject to the excessive deficit procedure, down from 24 at the beginning of 2011.
The Council approved today draft recommendations and opinions on economic and fiscal policies planned by the member states.
Approval of the texts is a key stage in the European Semester, an annual policy monitoring process.
The Eurogroup welcomes the Troika's conclusion that Cyprus' adjustment programme remains on track and endorses the disbursement of the next tranche of financial assistance to Cyprus.
The EU's Council of Economic and Finance Ministers will take place in Luxembourg on 20 June at 10.00.
On the agenda: draft EU budget for 2015, taxation, bank contributions to resolution funds, the Country-Specific Recommendations, the Excessive Deficit Procedure, Convergence Reports and enlargement of the euro area.
"The European Union is providing essential support for Ukraine's efforts to address its major economic challenges. Today's disbursement is a further concrete sign of European solidarity towards the people of Ukraine.", said Olli Rehn, VP for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro.
The Portuguese government intends to await the pending Constitutional Court rulings concerning adopted budgetary measures before formulating a comprehensive response.
The European Commission, the ECB and the IMF take note of this and encourage the government to continue with the ongoing structural reforms.
See the recorded debate and photos on the BEF 2014 website
Latest Eurobarometer in the newer EU Member States reverses trend. In the latest Flash Eurobarometer 400 survey carried out in late April 2014, some 7 000 respondents across the EU’s seven newest members –Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Romania (NMS7)- were interviewed by phone.
In the report, the European Commission assesses eight Member States' readiness to join the single currency. While there has been uneven progress on the road to euro adoption in the other seven Member States, Lithuania now fulfils the convergence criteria and is set to become the 19th euro area member in 2015.
The European Commission has today adopted a series of economic policy recommendations to individual Member States to strengthen the recovery that began a year ago.
Here are some questions and answers about the 2014 Country-specific recommendations.
The Commission recommends that Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovakia and The Netherlands exit the Excessive Deficit Procedure.
The Commission has also published a report on Finland and concluded that Poland and Croatia have taken effective action to lower their deficits.
Economic Sentiment rises in the euro area, remains broadly stable in the EU.
The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area increased slightly by 0.09 points to +0.37.
Today, the European Commission, on behalf of the EU, disbursed a first loan tranche of €100 million to Ukraine.
After Ireland and Spain, Portugal is the third euro area country to successfully graduate from its financial assistance programme.
"The European Commission has stood by Portugal throughout the crisis. We will continue to support and encourage Portugal's ongoing efforts", said VP Kallas.
The EC, ECB and IMF issued a statement following the fourth programme review mission to Cyprus.
The programme is on track, meeting its fiscal targets and advancing with restructuring plans. Key challenges: to effectively reduce non-performing loans, to maintain public finances on a sustainable path and to strengthen institutions.
Leading financial officials from across Europe describe the significance of the economic and monetary union and of the euro in these short video testimonials for citizens.
Continuing economic recovery in the EU following its emergence from recession one year ago.
"Deficits have declined, investment is rebounding and, importantly, the employment situation has started improving." said Vice-President Siim Kallas.
This evening, the Portuguese Government announced its decision to exit the EU/IMF programme on 17 May as planned.
The European Commission will support the Portuguese authorities and people in this sovereign choice.
The EC and the ECB issued a statement following the first post-programme surveillance mission to Ireland. Overall, the outlook for Ireland has continued to improve since the conclusion of the EU/IMF-supported programme.
The EC, ECB and IMF issued a statement on the Twelfth Review mission to Portugal. The programme remains on track to be concluded and it has put the Portuguese economy on a path towards sound public finances, financial stability and competitiveness.
The EU's Council of Economic and Finance (ECOFIN) Ministers will take place in Brussels on 6 May at 11.00.
On the agenda: Parent-Subsidiary Directive; Financial Transaction Tax; In-depth Reviews in the context of the Macro-economic Imbalance Procedure; and follow-up to international meetings.
Economic Sentiment slips in the euro area, rises further in the EU.
The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area decreases slightly by 0.13 points to +0.27.
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas today signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the new €1 billion Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) loan programme to Ukraine.
Building on the impressive fiscal consolidation effort in recent years, Greece has exceeded its fiscal target in 2013, as a primary surplus in programme terms has been recorded.
Both soft indicators and hard data point to a bottoming out of the protracted economic recession, and confirm the programme expectation that Greece should return to economic growth in 2014.
The report published today assesses the implementation of Portugal's Economic Adjustment Programme.
The programme implementation is broadly on track. The review paves the way for the disbursement of EUR 2.5 billion under the Economic Adjustment Programme.
The assessment of post-programme developments is mixed.
Latvia enjoys fast GDP growth rates and the outlook for 2014 and 2015 is overall encouraging, but some problems remain to be addressed with a greater sense of urgency.
The European Commission today adopted a report on the introduction of the euro in Latvia.
The report draws some useful conclusions for future changeovers in other Member States.
The Commission and the ECB concluded that the positive trends of policy progress, ongoing economic adjustment and diminishing financial stress have continued.
Important challenges to sustained economic and employment growth, public finances and the banking sector still remain.
The Commission's Support Group for Cyprus has published its first activity report, covering the period September - December 2013.
Learn more about the Support Group for Cyprus.
The report published today assesses the implementation of Cyprus' Economic Adjustment Programme.
The programme remains on track. The review paves the way for the disbursement of EUR 150m by the ESM, and about EUR 86m by the IMF.
Economic Sentiment up in the euro area and broadly flat in the EU.
The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area remained broadly unchanged at +0.39.
The Greek economy is beginning to stabilise and is poised for a gradual resumption of growth. Prices are adjusting and inflation remains well below the euro area average.
Fiscal performance is on track to meet program targets.
The financial assistance is designed to help Ukraine cover part of its urgent external financing needs.
It is in the context of the stabilisation and reform programme currently under preparation with the help of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The financial assistance, in the form of a medium-term loan, will be provided during the course of this year in two instalments: €100 and €80 million.
“This assistance will help ease Jordan’s financing constraints and support its economic reforms, for the sake of improving the living conditions of the Jordanian people.”, said Vice President Rehn.
The Commission's Task Force for Greece has published its sixth activity report, covering the period October 2013-January 2014.
Learn more about the Task Force for Greece.
The EU's Council of Economic and Finance (ECOFIN) Ministers will take place in Brussels on 11 March at 10.00.
The agenda includes taxation of savings income, Single Resolution Mechanism, follow-up to G20 February meeting and economic elements of the EU 2030 energy and climate framework.
The in-depth reviews are carried out as part of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure.
The analysis shows that 14 of the 17 Member States concerned are experiencing imbalances or excessive imbalances.
The economic recovery is strengthening and the programme’s fiscal targets remain unchanged.
The financial sector has continued to stabilise, but challenges remain. The structural reforms agenda needs to be expanded to continue the switch to an export-led growth model.
Economic Sentiment broadly unchanged in the euro area and the EU.
The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area increased slightly by 0.12 points to +0.37.
The European economy continues to recover in most EU countries, though at a different rate and strength.
Since the EU's last forecast in autumn, the outlook both for the bloc and the eurozone has improved.
The report published today assesses the implementation of the Portuguese Economic Adjustment Programme.
Most of the economic indicators point to an economic recovery. The Programme's financing envelope remains sufficient.
The Council adopted today 18 conclusions on the 2014 European Semester: macroeconomic and fiscal guidance to Member States.
The Council broadly shares the Commission's analysis of the economic situation and policy challenges in the EU.
The Alert Mechanism Report (AMR) provides the starting point of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure in the context of the 2014 European Semester.
The Council adopted 8 conclusions on this year's Alert Mechanism Report.
Staff teams from the Commission, the ECB and the IMF concluded their visit to Nicosia today. Discussions focused on policies to restore confidence in the financial system and implementation of the structural reform agenda.
Cyprus’s programme remains on track, with the macro-fiscal outturn better than expected.
The Commission and the IMF visited Bucharest to review the IMF Stand-By Agreement (SBA) and the precautionary balance of payments programme.
Most end-December performance criteria were met and structural benchmarks have either been met or are nearing completion.
Economic Sentiment continues to improve in the euro area and the EU.
The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area remained virtually unchanged at +0.19.
Spain has pulled back from severe problems in some parts of its banking sector, but the reform agenda of the financial sector needs to continue.
VP Rehn's statements on the challenges of the Greek Presidency, the current economic outlook in Europe and the news for Croatia.
The EU's Council of Economic and Finance Ministers will take place in Brussels on 28 January at 10.00.
The agenda includes the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the Greek Presidency's work programme, the excessive deficit in Croatia and the Compact for Growth and Jobs.
This study is part of the 2030 Framework on Climate and Energy package.
It assesses the development of the EU energy system and looks at how energy affects the macroeconomic performance of EU Member States.
The dual circulation period ended on 14 January. Banks, post offices and retailers coped well with the extra workload caused by the changeover process and the parallel handling of two currencies.
Latest data show that the Latvian retail sector is properly supplied with euro cash. The lats will cease to be legal tender on 15 January 2014.
Economic Sentiment rises further in both the euro area and the EU.
The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area remained broadly unchanged at +0.27.
Already two-thirds of cash payments in shops were made in euro only on the fourth changeover day (Saturday 4 January).
Virtually all customers (95 %) were also getting their change in euro.
By the end of Thursday, 2 January 30 % of payments in shops were made in euro only and 94 % of customers were getting their change in euro.
Upon Latvia's euro adoption, more than 333 million Europeans will share the single currency.
Cyprus' fiscal targets have been met with considerable margins, reflecting the ambitious fiscal consolidation underway, prudent budget execution, and a less severe deterioration of economic activity than originally projected.
The EC, ECB and IMF issued a statement regarding the Tenth Review mission to Portugal (4-16 December 2013).
The programme remains on track, and further signs of recovery have emerged since the last review.
Spain has pulled back from severe problems in some parts of its banking sector, thanks to its reform and policy actions, with the support of the euro area and broader European initiatives.
The Product Market Review analyses the impact of product market reforms on economic performance.
This edition's focus is on the interaction between the real economy and the financial sector.
The Commission publishes the report on the 12th and last programme review of the EU-IMF financial assistance for Ireland.
It includes recent economic developments and the outlook for Ireland.
Vice President Rehn welcomes today’s publication of the independent assessment of the health and resilience of the Slovenian banking sector.
Bank of Slovenia website: Comprehensive Review of the Banking System and associated Measures
European Commission officials conducted a mission to Hungary from 4 to 10 December 2013 to review recent developments and policy initiatives in the context of post-programme surveillance linked to EU balance of payments assistance between 2008 and 2010.
10 December : The Council updated its position on bank recovery and resolution and deposit guarantee schemes.
It also looked at Poland's excessive deficit corrective actions and adopted opinions on five economic partnership programmes.
The Commission recommends to end the present excessive deficit situation in Croatia by 2016 and defines intermediate budgetary targets to achieve this.
The Eurogroup meeting covered the Banking Union, the programmes for Greece, Ireland and Cyprus , and the IMF's interim article IV mission to the euro area.
Vice-President Olli Rehn's remarks focused on the IMF review, Ireland and Greece.
The EU's Council of Economic and Finance (ECOFIN) Ministers will take place in Brussels on 10 December at 10.00.
Banking union ranks high on the agenda of this meeting, with 3 interconnected legislative proposals on the table.
The conference brings together economists who have recently contributed new research on the interlinkages between current account imbalances and financial factors.
There is only one month to go before Latvia becomes the 18th member of the euro area.
The Commission has adopted today the thirteenth report on the practical preparations for the changeover.
Amid early signs of a recovery in economic activity, programme implementation remains broadly on track. External adjustment is ongoing, with Portugal gaining export market shares for the third year in a row.
Following Romania’s request on 4 July 2013 for a third balance-of-payments programme, and the Commission’s preliminary assessment, the EU’s Economic and Financial Committee agreed on the opening of negotiations in its meeting on 9 July 2013.
The Commission published the Fourth Review report on Spain's Financial Assistance Programme for the Recapitalisation of Financial Institutions.
Slovenia has implemented policy measures relevant for the correction of Macroeconomic Imbalances.
This Commission report looks at the recent macroeconomic developments and the reform state-of-play.
The Commission has published opinions on the draft budgetary plans submitted by 13 euro area Member States. It has assessed five Economic and Partnership Programmes, verified compliance with Council recommendations under the Excessive Deficit Procedure, and identified potential breaches of the Stability and Growth Pact.
The overall situation of the Spanish banking sector has significantly improved, including the access to funding markets, the solvency of Spanish banks and the shock resilience of the banking sector.
Spain will exit its financial sector programme in January 2014.
ECFIN inaugurates a permanent euro coin exhibition in Brussels.
Ms. Inese Allika, Counsellor of the Bank of Latvia, added the Latvian euros to the collection.
The Irish Government has decided to exit the EU/IMF programme in December as planned and without a pre-arranged precautionary credit facility.
Vice-president Rehn said that the graduation from the programme will send a very clear signal to markets and international lenders that the adjustment effort in Ireland has paid off.
The 2014 European Semester has started with the Anual Growth Survey.
Watch the live press conference with President Barroso.
The Commission, ECB, and IMF have concluded the twelfth and final review of the government's economic adjustment programme, which will expire in the coming months.
Its implementation has been steadfast. Ireland's economy has been growing above the euro area average since 2011.
The fourth Post-Programme Surveillance (PPS) mission to Latvia, by the Commission and ECB, gave an overall positive assessment of the post-programme developments. Some concerns remain to be addressed.
The Commission, the ECB, and the IMF visited Nicosia during 29 October – 7 November for the second review of Cyprus’s economic programme.
The programme is on track. All fiscal targets have been met with considerable margins, reflecting the ambitious fiscal reforms.
Latest euro area Eurobarometer survey shows public opinion in the euro area is in favour of the euro and economic reforms.
Teams from the IMF and the Commission visited Bucharest between 22 October - 5 November.
They reviewed the economic programme supported by an IMF Stand-By Agreement and discussed the status of the precautionary balance of payments programme with the EU.
The clouds are clearing on EU's economic horizon: the economy has started growing again.
The remainder of 2013 will see a slow expansion of economic activity and in 2014 and 2015 growth is set to become more robust.
After 4 years of deteriorating labour market outcomes, the first signs of stabilisation in EU unemployment are becoming manifest.
This paper looks at general labour market conditions, unemployment evolution, wage and labour cost and policy developments in the EU.
This report by the Commission provides a summary of the main findings of the Summer 2013 review mission to Dublin. It includes an assessment of compliance with the programme conditionality, and an overview of challenges faced by Ireland ahead.
The Commission's Task Force for Greece has published its fifth activity report, covering the period April-September 2013.
Learn more about the Task Force for Greece.
15 October: The Council adopted regulations creating a single supervisory mechanism for the oversight of banks and other credit institutions.
It also prepared European Council discussions on strengthened economic policy coordination and access to finance for SMEs.
What is the relationship between growth and finance at the level of industrial sectors? Have a look at this quarter's focus section!
A special section looks at labour cost moderation, export prices and their effect on profitability developments. And a third section discusses cross-border spillovers in consumer confidence.
The report analyses recent tax reforms in EU Member States and identifies tax policy challenges faced by EU Member States.
Read the most frequently asked questions regarding the tax reforms report.
This quarterly publication provides short-term analysis based on the joint harmonised EU programme of business and consumer surveys.
The Q3 2013 issue focuses on using survey data for measuring uncertainty.
3 October 2013: Staff teams from the Commission, the ECB, and the IMF concluded today the visit to Lisbon for the combined eighth and ninth quarterly reviews of Portugal’s economic adjustment program.
The country shows early signs of a recovery in economic activity.
The fourth review of the financial assistance programme for Spain has been concluded.
This statement by the Commission and the ECB provides a summary of the programme's state of play and looks at the steps ahead.
In September the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) increased by 1.6 points in the euro area (to 96.9) and 2.4 points in the EU (to 100.6). The sharp increase in the EU brought the indicator above its long-term average for the first time since July 2011.
Read the conclusions of the Summer 2013 review of Cyprus’ economic adjustment programme.
This review should pave the way for the disbursement of EUR 1.5bn by the ESM, and about EUR 86m by the IMF.
Vilnius, 13 September 2013 – The ESM Board of Governors clears the way for the disbursement of €1.5 billion to Cyprus. This is the second tranche of the country’s financial assistance programme.
Read more about the Economic Adjustment Programme for Cyprus
The Eurogroup welcomes the conclusion of the Troika's first review mission that the adjustment programme for Cyprus is on track.It endorses the disbursement of the next tranche of financial assistance to Cyprus.
On 1 January 2014 Latvia will become the 18th member of the euro area.
To mark this occasion Bank of Latvia hosts the Euro Conference Latvia at the Great Guild in Riga, Latvia.
"The EU's neighbouring economies: managing policies in a challenging global environment" describes the recent economic developments in the EU's neighbours both at a regional level and in a country-by-country analysis.
The GDP flash estimates for the second quarter of 2013 have just been released by Eurostat. Euro area and EU27 GDP are both up by 0.3% this quarter.
Read Vice-President Olli Rehn's comments in light of these and other recent indicators.
The Commission, the ECB, and the IMF have concluded the first quarterly review of Cyprus' economic programme. The overall assessment is that Cyprus' programmme is on track. Continued full and timely policy implementation is essential for its success.
The IMF, the Commission, and the World Bank have reached a staff-level agreement with the Romanian authorities on a new economic programme. Proposed access would total EUR 4billion, equally split between the IMF and the EU.
Greece continues to make overall progress under the economic adjustment programme, according to the latest report.
The report also includes a detailed macroeconomic scenario up to 2016.
The Commission adopted today the Twelfth report on the practical preparations for the future enlargement of the euro area. It concluded that preparations in Latvia are well advanced, while recommending further efforts in some areas.
The 2013 Report on Public finances in EMU has been published. It looks at budgetary developments with a focus on health expenditures, describes advances in budgetary surveillance and proposes a new indicator of fiscal effort.
The Commission, the ECB, and the IMF concluded today the Eleventh Review Mission to Ireland. The government's economic programme remains on track and discussions with the authorities focused on how best to address the remaining challenges.
Latvia will adopt the euro as from 1 January 2014. The conversion rate for the Latvian lats is: 0.702804 Latvian lats to one euro.
The Eurogroup notes significant improvement of cost competitiveness, an impressive strengthening of the fiscal position and a more resilient banking sector in Greece.
President Barroso said the Commission will allow temporary deviations from the structural deficit path towards the medium-term objectives on a case by case basis. They must be linked to projects co-funded by the EU with a positive, direct and verifiable long-term budgetary effect.
Croatia is the 28th member state of the EU.
Discover our Croatian webpages and resources and download our Croatian version of the Euro Area map poster.
The June 2013 Issue of the Quarterly report on the euro area has been published. It looks at consumption and investment, the role of FDI in preventing imbalances, capital flow and inventory developments.
The Eurogroup has agreed on the main features of the instrument’s operational framework and the steps ahead.
The Eurogroup work program for the second half of 2013 has also been published.
The ECOFIN Council has taken steps regarding the Excessive Deficit Procedure, the European Semester and EFSM loans.
The 14th Brussels Economic Forum brought together key decision makers, top officials from national and international institutions, leading academics and business leaders.
The 2013 European Semester is in full swing. The Commission published the country-specific recommendations for each Member State, along with an overarching communication on what is needed to return to growth and jobs.
The European Commission has published its Convergence Report on Latvia and concludes that the country fulfils the conditions for adopting the euro on 1 January 2014.
The Programme aims to address the financial, fiscal and structural challenges facing the economy in a decisive manner and should allow Cyprus to return to a sustainable growth path.
The EU economy is projected to return to growth in the second half of 2013. Annual GDP is forecast to contract by 0.1% in the EU and 0.4% in the euro area this year.