The economic crisis has prompted intense and sustained action by the EU's national governments, the European Central Bank and the Commission. All have been working closely together to support growth and employment, ensure financial stability, and put in place a better governance system for the future.
The Commission concluded that based on currently available information, most of these Member States are on a good path to reduce their deficit in line with the Council’s recommendations, and the additional effort needed for the remainder of the consolidation period appears well in reach. However, the Commission called on those Member States, whose adjustment effort so far has been below the average annual effort recommended by the Council, to step up their consolidation efforts. Where necessary, their consolidation strategy should be underpinned through the announcement of decisive, concrete and structural measures.
Finance ministers started implementation of the European semester as part of the broader reform of EU economic governance. Ministers examined the Annual Growth Survey of 12 January and drew lessons from an assessment of Member State’s draft national reform programmes in the context of multilateral surveillance of Member States’ economic policies. The Council also discussed the follow-up to the December European Council with respect to strengthening EU governance and establishing a new mechanism to ensure the stability of the euro zone.
The European Commission proposed to provide macro-financial assistance to Georgia of up to €46 million, with half of the assistance to be disbursed in the form of grants and half in the form of loans. This assistance is part of a comprehensive EU package of up to €500 million to support Georgia's economic recovery in the aftermath of the August 2008 conflict with Russia and the global financial crisis.
The adoption by the European Commission of the Annual Growth Survey (AGS) marked the beginning of the first cycle of coordination of the Member States' macro-economic, budgetary and structural reform policies, known as the "European Semester". With this major step forward for European economic governance, the Commission will each year present an AGS to evaluate the economic situation and the main challenges the EU must address, and to make its recommendations to the Member States.
This conference presented the Commission's legislative proposals on reinforced economic policy coordination and , in particular, the first European Semester.
In a statement following the meeting, Commission President Barroso Statement said that the Commission welcomed the Hungarian Presidency's commitment to fast-tracking the legislative proposals for reinforced economic governance of 29 September 2010 and would support the Presidency in steering the proposals safely to port by summer.
>> Speech 11/4. Statement by President Barroso at the press conference following the meeting of the European Commission with the Hungarian Presidency
>> Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Following the launch of the European Systemic Risk Board of 16 December 2010, these three European authorities start their work for the supervision of financial activities with regard to banks, markets and insurances and pensions respectively.
>> Internal Market and Services (MARKT). Commissioner Michel Barnier. The date of 1st January 2011 marks a turning point for the European financial sector
>> European Banking Authority (EBA)
>> European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
>> European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)