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European Commission - Economic and Financial AffairsEuropean Commission - Economic and Financial Affairs
Europe takes extraordinary measures for extraordinary economic times
- Convergence report: Estonia ready for the euro in 2011
- Plans to strengthen economic governance and policy coordination unveiled
- Commission presents deficit reports for five countries and assesses Cyprus's stability programme for 2009-2013
- Joint mission to Romania secures agreement on deficit measures
- Open day, Berlaymont
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Europe takes extraordinary measures for extraordinary economic times

Supported by the Commission, European policy-makers took a raft of extraordinary and unprecedented measures to bolster the euro area and the EU economy as a whole as they moved to draw a line under the Greek debt crisis. A euro-area summit on 7 May finalised procedures to implement the planned €110 billion support package for Greece with a first disbursement to be made before 19 May. Then an extraordinary ECOFIN Council on 9-10 May saw EU Finance Ministers agree to set up a European financial stabilisation mechanism to bring stability to the euro area worth up to €500 billion that would be available on terms and conditions similar to those of the IMF. The European Central Bank meanwhile took a number of steps to address tensions on financial markets.

The commitment to intensify fiscal consolidation, the decision to create the European financial stabilisation mechanism and the actions taken by the ECB prove that we shall defend the euro whatever it takes.

European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn
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Convergence report: Estonia ready for the euro in 2011

Estonia is ready to adopt the euro on 1 January 2011, the European Commission said on 12 May, bringing the Baltic country a step closer to becoming the 17th EU member to take on the shared currency. In its latest regular Convergence Report, the Commission concluded that Estonia meets the criteria for adopting the euro and made a proposal to the Council to this effect. The ECOFIN Council is expected to take the final decision in July. The Commission found that eight other EU Member States do not yet meet all the conditions for euro adoption.
Plans to strengthen economic governance and policy coordination unveiled

With Europe now gradually recovering from recession and having dealt with the immediate emergency posed by the Greek sovereign debt crisis, the European Commission said on 12 May that the time had come to draw far-reaching lessons for the future in terms of policy-making. To this end it set out a range of plans to strengthen Europe's economic governance. The Commission’s Communication on “Reinforcing economic policy coordination” notably proposes to reinforce compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact, to step up macroeconomic surveillance and to move towards establishing a permanent euro-area crisis prevention mechanism. Meanwhile, an annual “European Semester” (to start beginning of 2011) would help to synchronise the assessment of EU Member States’ fiscal and structural policies.
Commission presents deficit reports for five countries and assesses Cyprus's stability programme for 2009-2013

The European Commission has issued reports on Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland and Luxembourg assessing whether these countries are in breach of EU rules on excessive budgetary deficits and whether corrective action might be needed under the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact. In common with many other EU Member States, their deficit now exceeds – or is set to exceed – 3% of GDP, triggering the reports. Follow-up steps on the EDPs will be decided after the opinions of the Economic and Financial Committee on 28 May. The Commission also assessed Cyprus’s updated stability programme, inviting Cyprus to further limit its 2010 deficit and accelerate fiscal consolidation and structural reform.
Joint mission to Romania secures agreement on deficit measures

A joint European Commission-IMF-World Bank mission reached agreement with Romania on additional measures the country should take to reduce its 2010 budget deficit to 7.3% of GDP (in ESA95 terms). The mission, which was in Bucharest from 26 April until 10 May, assessed the implementation of Romania’s policy programme under the multilateral financial assistance package worth €20 billion agreed in May 2009. The EU has so far disbursed half of a €5 billion loan that provides balance-of-payments support as part of this package while requiring Romania to meet certain policy conditions.
Open day, Berlaymont

As it does every year, DG ECFIN joined the rest of the Commission in celebrating Europe Day – 9 May – commemorating the day on which, in 1950, French foreign minister Robert Schuman called on France, Germany and other European countries still recovering from the Second World War to pool their production of coal and steel. This was the first step on the path to what today has beome the European Union. DG ECFIN had an information stand at the Berlaymont building which, along with parts of the Council and Parliament buildings, were open to the public on Saturday 8 May, welcoming around 25 000 visitors. It distributed publications and gadgets, and organised games and interactive activities for children and adults designed in particular to raise awareness of the composition of the euro area.

Assessing the Competitive Behaviour of Firms in the Single Market: A Micro-based Approach, Economic Paper 409
The report analyses and compares a number of indicators related to the evolution of the competitive behaviour of firms in the Single Market, from 1999 to 2007, in a selected number of both manufacturing and services industries and eight EU countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden. A novelty of the approach is that the analysis is derived from firm-level observable data, providing information which is impossible to gather in detail from aggregate, traditional sector-level measures.

Labour Market Performance and Migration Flows in Arab Mediterranean Countries, Occasional Paper 60
European Business Cycle Indicators, May 2010
Euro-area wall map
Upcoming: Resilience of emerging market economies to economic and financial developments in advanced economies, Economic Paper 411
Agenda Calls
25-26 May
Brussels Economic Forum 2010
7-8 June
Eurogroup/ECOFIN Council
8 June
Luxembourg, EIB Annual Meeting
17-18 June
European Council
26-27 June Toronto Toronto, G20 Summit
29 June
ECFIN workshop “The UK economy, post-recession – same as it ever was?”
Call for papers (ECFIN/C/2010/008) Capital flows to converging European economies – from boom to drought and beyond (closing date 31 May 2010)
Call for papers (ECFIN/C/2010/015) Public debt and economic growth (closing date 25 June 2010)
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Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs