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European Commission - Economic and Financial Affairs
Commission recommends deficit correction for 9 EU countries
-Euro-area finance ministers agree to tighten fiscal policy in 2011 at the latest
-Eurogroup ministers agree to strengthen labour market policies in face of the crisis
-EuroTeam reviews the impact of the financial crisis
-Supporting SMEs in Latvia
-National Bank of Poland releases report on Poland’s full membership of EMU’s third stage
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Commission recommends deficit correction for 9 EU countries

The Commission proposed to the Council to set 2013 as the deadline for the correction of excessive budget deficits in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Portugal. For Belgium and Italy the existence of high debt ratios calls for an earlier deadline of 2012. The Commission also recommended extending by one year the existing deadlines for Spain, France, Ireland and the UK. All 13 countries, along with Greece, whose response was deemed inadequate, have deficits above the 3%-of GDP-threshold specified in the Stability and Growth Pact.

The Stability and Growth Pact provides the anchor for clear and credible exit strategies to reduce public deficits and debts, which have dramatically increased during the crisis.

Commissioner Joaquín Almunia
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Euro-area finance ministers agree to tighten fiscal policy in 2011 at the latest

At the EuroGroup meeting on 9 November, euro-area finance ministers agreed to start tightening fiscal policy in 2011 at the latest, assuming the recovery stays on track. Restoring public finances will be the priority although “fiscal policies will need to be differentiated according to the different fiscal positions of the Member States,” according to Joaquín Almunia, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs.
Eurogroup ministers agree to strengthen labour market policies in face of the crisis

Meeting on 9 November, finance ministers agreed to develop long-term strategies to make labour markets more efficient, and to revisit the issue on a regular basis. The increase in unemployment has been limited by the use of reduced working time schemes and other support measures. Due to lags, however, unemployment is set to rise well into next year. Eurogroup ministers have, therefore, decided to strengthen the focus on structural labour market reforms within a flexicurity context and have agreed on the following common policy lines.
EuroTeam reviews the impact of the financial crisis

On November 5, around 60 EuroTeam members met in Brussels to discuss the financial crisis and in particular its impact on communication on the euro and EMU. The EuroTeam is a network of around 100 independent speakers in 8 future euro-area countries. Drawn from academia, public administrations, professional associations and the private sector, the Team members act as ambassadors for the euro in their country, delivering lectures, speeches and presentations upon request. Membership evolves from year to year and prospective volunteers are invited to contact DG ECFIN.
Supporting SMEs in Latvia

On 28 October an EU Finance Day for small and medium-sized enterprises was held in Riga, attracting over 120 participants and national media. DG ECFIN staff presented the innovative financing instruments for SMEs offered by the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme. The EU Finance Days are organised alternately by DG Economic and Financial Affairs and DG Enterprise throughout the EU to raise awareness of these instruments, for which a total of EUR 1.1 billion is earmarked for 2007-13.
National Bank of Poland releases report on Poland’s full membership of EMU’s third stage

The report, the English version of which was released in October, analyses the costs and benefits of Poland’s adoption of the single European currency. Based on the results of an extensive empirical research programme, the report concludes that economic growth may be about 0.7 percentage points higher per annum than if Poland remained outside the euro area. It also notes that the majority of costs would be sustained in the short run while the permanent benefits from monetary integration would only accrue in the medium term.

Progress towards meeting the economic criteria for accession: the assessments of the 2009 Progress Reports, Occasional Paper 57
This Occasional Paper brings together the economic chapters of the 2009 Progress Reports adopted by the Commission on 14 October. It summarises the state of compliance with, or progress towards the economic criteria for EU accession (the Copenhagen criteria). It reports on both the candidate countries - Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey - and potential candidate countries - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.

Study on the efficiency and effectiveness of spending on tertiary education in the EU, Economic Paper 390
Macroeconomic effects of cost savings in public procurement, Economic Paper 389
Determinants of intra-euro area government bond spreads during the financial crisis, Economic Paper 388
Agenda Calls
19 November
Special EU Summit
27 November
Workshop “External imbalances and public finances in the EU”
1-2 December
Eurogroup/ECOFIN meeting
10-11 December
EU Summit
Visiting Fellows Programme (no closing date)
Economics Seminar Programme (no closing date)
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