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.
"To protect our interest, to defend our values in the world of globalisation, to speak with one voice with our American friends or with China and Russia, we need a stronger European Union, and this stronger European Union is the way to reinforce also our countries"
The EFSF must immediately be made both stronger and more flexible. This is what the Commission proposed already in January. This is what Heads of State and Government of the euro area agreed upon on 21 July. Only then, when you ratify this, will the EFSF be able to deploy precautionary intervention; intervene to support the recapitalisation of banks; and intervene in the secondary markets to help avoid contagion.
The finance ministers of all the member states reached agreement on a package of six legislative acts (the "six-pack") to strengthen economic governance in the European Union, and more specifically in the eurozone.
The following FAQ provides answers to some of the most common questions as a result of the deal.
The European Union today placed a €4 billion bond with 15 years maturity under the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM).
In September 2010 the Commission presented six legislative proposals on economic governance (the so-called Six-Pack).
Horst Reichenbach, Head of the Task Force (TF) of the European Commission in charge of providing technical assistance to Greece held a press conference on 15 September to report on his first round of meetings with the Greek authorities during his first visit. With the aim to identify all possible ways of cooperation, Mr Reichenback stressed that the TF will help to implement Greece's reform programme and to better absorb financial means coming from EU structural funds. Located both in Brussels and in Athens, the TF would also channel the large good will of other EU Member States.
"Today, an agreement has been finalised which, pending formal endorsement by the European Parliament and the Council in the coming weeks, will allow this package to enter into force. This is excellent news for Europe"
The European Commission welcomed the new measures announced on 7 September by the Italian Government. They confirm the determination of the Italian authorities to meet the agreed targets of deficit and debt reduction, while contributing to tackle the deep rooted structural weaknesses of the Italian economy. The decision on retirement age is also an important signal. The confirmation of the decision to introduce in the Constitution the principle of a balanced budget and the abolition of provinces are decisive improvements in the institutional framework of Italy, and contribute to ensure budgetary discipline on a permanent basis. The In conclusion, the Commission called on swift adoption of the adjustment package in a spirit of national cohesion and solidarity.
The mission chiefs of the European Commission, the IMF and the ECB today held a conference call with the Greek Minister of Finance. Good progress was made, and technical discussions will continue in Athens over the coming days.
The forecast, which contains updated projections for GDP growth and inflation for the seven largest EU Member States, the euro area and the EU, sees the recovery stalling amid the continuing financial market crisis
The new bond is the second with a 10 years maturity placed by the EU under the EFSM so far. The €5 billion benchmark matures on 21 September 2021, pays a coupon of 2.75% and was priced at mid-swaps +20 basis points.
Mr Barroso said that Europe is facing the most serious challenge of a generation.
Our discussion focused especially on the budgetary measures approved by the Italian Senate last week and now being debated in the Chamber of Deputies, which are of fundamental importance for ensuring confidence in Italy and the euro area.