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European Commission - Economic and Financial Affairs European Commission - Economic and Financial Affairs
Mr Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council © The Council of the European Union Task Force on economic governance weighs in with comprehensive recommendations for reform
- ECFIN conducts macroeconomic surveillance missions to Member States
- Commission organises competition to establish reserve pool of senior economists
- European Council meeting to finalise economic governance reforms and set EU position for key international meetings
- Commissioner Rehn attends G20 Ministers meeting in South Korea
- Eurostat publishes government deficit and debt figures for 2009
- Commission releases EUR 0.2 billion as part of Balance of Payments support to Latvia
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Mr Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council © The Council of the European Union Task Force on economic governance weighs in with comprehensive recommendations for reform

The Task Force on economic governance chaired by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy delivered its recommendations on 21 October. The five areas of recommendations largely correspond to the package of legislative proposals adopted by the Commission in September. The Task Force recommends reinforcing the SGP by ensuring that enforcement measures apply earlier and include stronger sanctions. Public institutions should be established at the national level, according to the Task Force, in order to provide independent analysis and forecasts on domestic fiscal policy matters. Moreover, decision making should be streamlined through the application of reverse qualified majority voting. A mechanism for macro-economic surveillance will also be put in place to detect the risk of asset bubbles, unsustainable patterns in the balance of payments, or strong divergences in competitiveness. The Task Force also recommends better integrated policy coordination, notably through the "European Semester" which will apply as of 2011, and advocates the establishment of a permanent crisis resolution framework for the euro area. The European Council is expected to endorse the Task Force's report this week.
Viewpoint
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The reform of our economic governance is a cornerstone of our sustainable recovery and our credibility…The proposals submitted by the Commission last month give the EU real clout in economic policy through adequate coordinated fiscal surveillance and by addressing macroeconomic imbalances. They create a real economic union in Europe.

José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission
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ECFIN conducts macroeconomic surveillance missions to Member States

ECFIN conducted macroeconomic surveillance missions to all Member States during September-October 2010. The missions mark the start of integrated macroeconomic surveillance under the Europe 2020 strategy. Aside from informing Member States on the strategy and the new surveillance cycle – the European Semester – the missions also reached consensus with Member States on their main economic challenges and macro-structural bottlenecks to growth over the coming decade. In addition, the missions discussed Member States' tentative structural reform programmes with a particular focus on advancing reforms to boost growth in the medium term. In the next stage, Member States will submit their draft National Reform Programmes to the Commission by mid-November. Using these programmes as an input, the Commission will prepare the Annual Growth Survey report, including policy guidance for Member States, for the Spring European Council.
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eu-careers © European Commission
Commission organises competition to establish reserve pool of senior economists

The Commission is organising admission tests and an open competition (COM/AD/17/10) to establish a reserve pool from which to recruit administrators with experience in the field of economics. The 15 candidates to be selected must have at least 15 years’ professional experience in economics. They will be posted mainly within DG ECFIN. For further information or to apply, candidates should visit the EPSO website. The closing date for applications is 25 November 2010 at 12 noon, Brussels time.
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European Council © The Council of the European Union
European Council meeting to discuss economic governance reforms and set EU position for key international meetings

Meeting on 28 and 29 October, European Heads of state are expected to discuss the final report from the Task Force on economic governance and finalise any outstanding issues. This will set orientations for the rapid implementation of the report’s conclusions. The European Council will also take stock of progress on the regulation of financial services and the state of play on financial sector taxation. In addition, European leaders will prepare the EU position for several key upcoming international meetings: the G20 Summit to be held in Seoul on 11-12 November, the Cancun Conference on Climate Change, which will be held from 29 November to 10 December, and the Summit with the United States on 20 November.
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Commissioner Rehn attends G20 Ministers meeting in South Korea

European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn attended the G20 Ministers meeting on 22-23 October. Summing up the meeting he said, “This meeting has taken place at a critical juncture. We need international coordination to deliver a sustainable recovery based on balanced global growth, otherwise we may lose the chance to create a sound recovery and tens of thousands of jobs.” The Commissioner added that the imbalances that we saw before the crisis were re-emerging and that it was therefore essential that the G-20 restore a sense of unity and shared responsibility. “All countries should do their part. Without a cooperative solution on exchange rates, there will be no success in rebalancing growth” he also warned. Progress made in Gyeongju on global imbalances and IMF reform is paving the way for a successful G20 summit in Seoul on 11-12 November.
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Eurostat-release © Thinkstock
Eurostat publishes government deficit and debt figures for 2009

On 22 October, Eurostat published 2009 government deficit and debt figures for 26 Member States. The largest government deficits as a percentage of GDP were recorded in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Latvia, Portugal, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, France and Poland, while the lowest deficits were recorded in Luxembourg, Sweden and Estonia. No Member State registered a government surplus in 2009 and 24 Member States recorded a worsening in their government deficit relative to GDP in 2009 compared with 2008, with only Estonia and Malta showing an improvement. Eleven Member States had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP in 2009. The figures for Greece and euro area and EU27 aggregates will be published by mid-November.
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Riga © Thinkstock
Commission releases EUR 0.2 billion as part of Balance of Payments support to Latvia

The EU has disbursed the fourth instalment of a EUR 3.1 billion EU loan to Latvia. The loan was agreed in January 2009 as part of a EUR 7.5 billion multilateral financial assistance package. The latest payment follows a positive assessment by the Commission of the implementation by Latvian authorities of the economic conditions attached to this disbursement. The conditions are detailed in a Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding (SMoU) and include commitments on budgetary consolidation, fiscal adjustment and financial and structural reforms.
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Publications


European Economy News, Issue 19, October 2010
The 19th issue of ECFIN’s quarterly magazine highlights the major developments in economic governance, and includes an interview with Klaus Regeling, head of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). Using data for 2009, the employment situation in Europe is also examined, with a particular focus short-time working arrangements and labour market segmentation. European Economy News also reviews the state of play of financial sector regulation. An article on taxation in Europe presents tax reform as a potential way to increase public revenues without compromising growth.
Upcoming: Adjustment in the euro area and regulation of products and labour. Economic Paper
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Agenda Calls
28-29 October
Brussels
European Council
11-12 November
Seoul, Korea
G20 Summit
16-17 November
Brussels
Eurogroup and ECOFIN meetings
22-23 November
Brussels
DG ECFIN 7th Annual Research Conference 2010
29 November
Brussels
European economic forecast autumn 2010
3 December
Brussels
Workshop: Public debt and economic growth
16-17 December
Mumbai, India
ASEM Conference: Investment and its Financing
18 May 2011
Brussels
BEF 2011 – The Brussels Economic Forum 2011
Call for proposals ECFIN/A3/2010/020 - Joint harmonised European Union programme of business and consumer surveys in the 27 EU Member States and in the candidate countries: Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Iceland (deadline for submission: 8 November 2010)
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Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs