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European Commission - Economic and Financial AffairsEuropean Commission - Economic and Financial Affairs
Europe 2020: Commission launches new economic roadmap for the next decade
- Athens unveils new economic and fiscal consolidation measures
- Further Balance of Payments help for Latvia
- EP workshop looks at impact of crisis on new Member States
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Europe 2020: Commission launches new economic roadmap for the next decade

On March 3, the European Commission proposed Europe 2020, its strategy to extract Europe from the crisis and achieve "smart, sustainable, inclusive" growth. The strategy is focused, with just five headline targets on employment, R&D, energy and climate, education, and poverty reduction. The European Council will steer it, making its success the personal responsibility of EU leaders. The Commission's assessment of Member States' progress and consequent economic policy advice will take proper account of budgetary constraints and be based on surveillance widened to cover competitiveness, macroeconomic imbalances and growth bottlenecks. The strategy will be discussed at the 25-26 March EU summit.

Europe has a growth deficit which is putting our future at risk. We must decisively tackle our weaknesses and exploit our many strengths. We need to build a new economic model based on knowledge, a low-carbon economy and high employment levels.

José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission
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Athens unveils new economic and fiscal consolidation measures

The Greek government announced on 3 March a package of additional measures worth €4.8 billion which it said signalled its “determination to ensure a sustainable fiscal path and to restore confidence in the Greek economy”. The package aims to boost revenue, through increases in VAT rates and excise duties, and to reduce government spending, in particular through savings in the public wage bill. The Commission welcomed the new package, which should help achieve the 4% of GDP deficit reduction target for 2010, and restore competitiveness. “Greece's ambitious programme to correct its fiscal imbalances is now on track” , said President Barroso. Eurogroup/Ecofin ministers are expected to return to the matter on 15-16 March.
Further Balance of Payments help for Latvia

The EU disbursed on 11 March the latest instalment of a €3.1 billion loan to Latvia agreed in January 2009 as part of a €7.5 billion multilateral financial assistance package to help deal with the effects of the economic and financial crisis. The €0.5 billion disbursement came after the European Commission positively assessed the Latvian authorities’ compliance with the required economic policy conditions, in view of a second Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding (SMoU) signed on 22 February. Similarly, the signing in February of a SMoU for Romania was expected to pave the way for a second disbursement to that country of €1 billion by mid-March of this year.
EP workshop looks at impact of crisis on new Member States

The EU’s new Member States were hit hard by the economic and financial crisis but the impact was not uniform, with variations from country to country and with challenges still remaining in both newer and older EU members. This was the picture that emerged from a workshop on "The impact of the crisis on New Member States" held in the European Parliament (EP) on 1 March in Brussels, with the participation of DG ECFIN. The workshop was the latest in a series of discussions hosted by the EP’s Special Committee on the Economic, Financial and Social Crisis.

The Polish banking system: hit by the crisis or merely by a cool breeze? Country Focus
Polish banks benefit from operating in a country showing economic resilience, which did not enter recession in 2009. The Polish banking system has weathered the crisis well so far. Capitalisation is at a healthy 13.1% level and the earnings retention rate was close to 100% in 2008. Nonetheless, banks' fundamentals have deteriorated in the worsening economic environment. Asset quality has suffered a blow and earnings generation saw a severe contraction in 2009.

European Business Cycle Indicators, March 2010
Options for International Financing of Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries, Economic Paper 406
EU labour market behaviour during the Great Recession, Economic Paper 405
Unexpected changes in tax revenues and the stabilisation function of fiscal policy. Evidence for the European Union, 1999-2008, Economic Paper 404
Agenda Calls
15-16 March
Eurogroup/ECOFIN Council
25-26 March
Spring European Council
16-18 April Madrid Informal ECOFIN, including ASEM Finance meetings 17-18 April
24-25 April
Washington D.C.
IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings
25-26 May Brussels Brussels Economic Forum 2010
Euro photo competition for 14- to 18-year-olds (closing date: 31 March 2010)
Economics Seminar Programme (no closing date)
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Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs