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European Commission - Economic and Financial AffairsEuropean Commission - Economic and Financial Affairs
Commission reviews excessive deficits in four countries; finds good progress
- Juncker unveils ambitious agenda for fourth term as chairman of the Eurogroup
- Romania on track to get green light for second tranche of EU financial assistance
- New flash indicator shows improvement in consumer confidence
- Brussels Economic Forum 2010 to examine post-crisis strategies for growth and competitiveness
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Commission reviews excessive deficits in four countries; finds good progress

The Commission has found that Hungary and Latvia have taken adequate action to correct excessive deficits according to the targets set by the Council, and are, if they pursue their efforts, on track to correct their budgetary situation by the agreed deadlines of 2011 and 2012. Malta and Lithuania are also found to have taken adequate action, but due to a worse economic outlook than expected earlier the Commission recommends that the Council extend the deadline for the correction of the excessive deficit by one year, i.e. to 2011 and 2012 respectively. Twenty Member States are currently subject to the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP), which is triggered when the deficit of a Member States exceeds 3% of GDP.

Viewpoint
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The good progress made by Hungary, Latvia, Malta and Lithuania has been achieved thanks to the determination and efforts of the national authorities and society at large. Those efforts will need to continue.

Commissioner Joaquín Almunia
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Juncker unveils ambitious agenda for fourth term as chairman of the Eurogroup

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker was re-elected as chairman of the Eurogroup for a fourth term, his first under the Lisbon Treaty, which mandates the appointment of a president for 2½ years. Juncker has called for a unified representation for the euro area at the G20, and for broader and stricter coordination of economic policies of euro area countries, including effective enforcement mechanisms. He would like to see the strenghthening of coordination and multilateral surveillance underpinned by an improved support for the Eurogroup chairman.
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Romania on track to get green light for second tranche of EU financial assistance

From 20-27 January, a joint Commission, IMF and World Bank mission visited Bucharest to assess Romanian compliance with the policy conditions attached to the EU Balance of Payments Programme and underpinning its EUR 20 billion support package. The mission, in which DG ECFIN was represented by Acting Director Matthias Mors and Head of Unit Fabienne Ilzkovitz, concluded that Romania has met most of these policy conditions. Romania has achieved the cash fiscal deficit target for 2009 (7.3% of GDP), has adopted a 2010 budget in line with the agreed deficit target (5.9%), introduced structural reforms and strengthened financial sector supervision. Subject to approval by the Commission, disbursement of the second tranche of EUR 1 billion is expected in March.
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New flash indicator shows improvement in consumer confidence

The first flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator, released in January 2010, signals an improvement for the EU aggregate (up to -13.3 from -14.3 in December) and a broadly unchanged level for the euro-area aggregate (-15.8 compared with -16.1 in December). The Consumer Confidence Indicator will henceforth be published separately a week before the broader economic sentiment indicator. While it still remains below its long-term average, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) improved for the tenth consecutive month, rising in January to 97.0 (+2.0 points) in the EU and to 95.7 (+1.6) in the euro area.
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Brussels Economic Forum 2010 to examine post-crisis strategies for growth and competitiveness

This year's Brussels Economic Forum, “Strategies for a post-crisis world: enhancing European growth”, will be held on 25-26 May. The Forum will explore post-crisis exit strategies as an opportunity to create new sources of growth and enhance EU competitiveness. Special focus will be placed on the key role climate change policies and low-carbon technologies should play in any post-crisis growth model.
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Publications


 
European Economy News, Issue 16, January 2010
The latest edition of ECFIN’s quarterly magazine tackles the most critical issue of our time: climate change, with a particular emphasis on how developed and developing countries should share the financial burden of mitigation and adaptation. It also examines the sustainability of public finances, the microeconomic consequences of the crisis and the prospects for Croatian accession from an economic standpoint.


Upcoming: Using a DSGE model to look at the recent boom-bust cycle in the US, Economic Paper 397
Upcoming: How to close the productivity gap between the US and Europe. A quantitative assessment using a semi-endogenous growth model, Economic Paper 399
Upcoming: Italy's employment gap: the role of taxation. Country Focus
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Agenda Calls
9 February
Strasbourg
European Parliament vote on new Commission
11 February
Brussels
Special EU summit on the economy
15-16 February
Brussels
Eurogroup/ECOFIN Council
25-26 May
Brussels
Brussels Economic Forum 2010
Visiting Fellows Programme (no closing date)
Economics Seminar Programme (no closing date)
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