From January to March
Under the Stability and Growth Pact, towards the end of each year Member States submit updated stability or convergence programmes, on which the Commission prepares assessments and recommendations for Council opinions. Euro-area members submit stability programmes, while convergence programmes are presented by Member States that are not part of the euro area. The Commission expects to publish its assessments in the first quarter of 2007.
The Commission will issue its third interim economic forecasts. These ‘light’ forecasts are issued twice a year between the fully-fledged spring and autumn economic forecasts. They are model-based updates of the outlook for real GDP growth and HICP for the six largest Member States, the EU-25 and the euro area for the current year (whereas the spring and autumn forecasts includes a full set of variables for two years ahead). DG ECFIN will publish the next interim forecasts on 16 February 2007.
The ECOFIN Council will finalise the examination of the Member States’ stability and convergence programmes and prepare the European Council meeting on 8/9 March.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome a commemorative two-euro coin will be issued in March by the Member States of the euro area. The winning design was selected by means of a competition and shows the Treaty document signed by the six founding countries in 1957 against a background evoking Michelangelo’s paving design for the Piazza del Campidoglio where the signing ceremony took place.
Following the adoption of the new Council Decision granting a Community guarantee to the European Investment Bank (EIB) for projects outside the Community, which is expected to be adopted by the Council by January 2007, the Commission and the EIB must establish the terms of such a guarantee in a contractual agreement. The projects concerned are part of EU aid and development programmes and the aim is to enable the EIB to offer loan financing, for example for infrastructure projects, to support these efforts.