If this email does not display properly, please click here
European Commission - Economic and Financial Affairs European Commission - Economic and Financial Affairs
Commissioner Olli REHN - Mr György MATOLCSY, Hungarian Minister for National Economy (presidency) - Commissioner Michel BARNIER © The Council of the European Union Progress on the European Semester
- Commission assesses government finances under excessive deficit procedure
- Third review of the economic adjustment programme for Greece
- EU and IMF raise funds for Irish financial assistance
- Estonia successfully completes euro changeover
- 'Fostering the European Economy' – new video on ECFIN's role and its key activities
- Conference delegates give input on possible successor to CIP
Publications
Agenda
Calls
Top News
Commissioner Olli REHN - Mr György MATOLCSY, Hungarian Minister for National Economy (presidency) - Commissioner Michel BARNIER © The Council of the European Union Progress on the European Semester

Following adoption by the European Commission on 12 January, implementation of the first European Semester has begun. The semester is a period of policy coordination during which Member States have the chance to review each other’s budget proposals before they have been set in motion, with the aim of improving fiscal coordination. In their meeting of 17-18 January, Finance ministers examined the Commission’s annual growth survey and drew lessons from an assessment of Member State’s draft national reform programmes. The programmes enable multilateral surveillance of Member States’ economic policies. The Council also discussed the follow-up to the December European Council with respect to strengthening EU governance and establishing a new mechanism to ensure the stability of the euro zone.

Viewpoint
"
We can make 2011 the year when Europe overcame the financial crisis, lifted its growth potential and reformed its economic governance. This calls for a comprehensive response by the whole EU and for bold fiscal and structural measures in all Member States.

Olli Rehn, Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs at Eurogroup meeting on 17 January
"
More
More news
Europe © European Commission
Commission assesses government finances under excessive deficit procedure

Based on the Commission services’ autumn 2010 forecast, the Commission has made an assessment of the current state of the government finances in the Member States that are subject to the excessive deficit procedure. The Commission concluded that based on currently available information, most of these Member States are on a good path to reduce their deficit in line with the Council’s recommendations, and the additional effort needed for the remainder of the consolidation period appears well in reach. However, the Commission calls on those Member States, where the adjustment effort so far has been below the average annual effort recommended by the Council, to step up their consolidation efforts and, where necessary, underpin their consolidation strategy through the announcement of decisive, concrete and structural measures.
More
Parthenon in Athens, Greece © Thinkstock.com
Third review of the economic adjustment programme for Greece

The third joint EC/ECB/IMF review mission is to take place in Athens from 27 January to 11 February 2011. A positive assessment of the programme review will depend on the achievement of quarterly budgetary performance criteria, the implementation of fiscal measures and structural reforms and agreement on the revised Memorandum of Understanding. Depending on the outcome of the assessment, the fourth loan disbursement, EUR 10.9 billion by the euro-area Member States, is planned for 15 March 2011. The loan is part of the economic adjustment programme for Greece, and follows a EUR 6.5 billion loan instalment disbursed on 19 January.
More
The Ha'penny bridge in Dublin © Thinkstock.com G20 leaders in Seoul 2010 © G20 Seoul Summit - All rights reserved
EU and IMF raise funds for Irish financial assistance

The second tranche of funding (EUR 5 billion) for Ireland's EU-IMF financial assistance programme was raised on the markets on 25 January. It generated very high demand from investors and will be transferred to Ireland in the following week. This follows approval of the programme by the Dáil (Irish parliament) on 15 December and budgetary data for the year which were slightly above expectations, driven by strong corporate tax receipts. The next steps include adoption of reforms such as a 12% reduction in the minimum wage and budgetary legislation to underpin the EUR 6 billion (4% of GDP) consolidation for 2011. Forthcoming national elections may also bring changes to the political scene.
More
The Berlaymont building with the sign announcing the entry of Estonia into the euro area © European Union, 2010
Estonia successfully completes euro changeover

Estonia officially joined the euro area on 1 January 2011, and with the end of the dual circulation period on 14 January, the euro is now the only currency that is legal tender. No major problems were encountered during the changeover, as banks, post offices and retailers coped well with the extra workload. The public can exchange any remaining kroon cash for euro at the official exchange rate and without a service fee in bank branches at least until the end of the year, and thereafter in the Central Bank for an unlimited period of time. Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, called the changeover “a fair reward for a country that has been firmly committed to maintaining sound fiscal policies,” and noted that the euro will “create the basis for economic prosperity". Estonia now shares the same currency with over 330 million people in 17 Member States of the European Union.
More
'Fostering the European Economy' © European Commission
'Fostering the European Economy' – new video on ECFIN's role and its key activities

A newly released video shows how ECFIN's work can affect many aspects of the citizens' daily life and helps to shape the future of the EU economy. It highlights the vital role ECFIN plays in identifying economic and financial challenges at an early stage, thereby helping Member States to mitigate risks and promoting stability in the EU economy. The 6’10” video provides useful insights into how ECFIN works, what it does and its reputation in the wider world. It features interviews with Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Marco Buti, Director-General of DG ECFIN and other senior ECFIN staff, as well as Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Eurogroup and Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, and Mario Monti, President of Bocconi University and past European Commissioner for Internal Market, Financial Services, Taxation and Customs and for Competition.
More
Conference on the future of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) © European Commission
Conference delegates give input on possible successor to CIP

Delegates to a conference held on 25 January gave suggestions on a possible successor to the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). The CIP addresses small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and supports business and innovation through a wide range of measures such as better access to finance, business and innovation support services, and support for the uptake of ICT, eco-innovation and intelligent energy. At the conference, stakeholders, including representatives of business and innovation agencies, were asked to express their views on the key actions that the EU should focus on to help businesses grow, specific fields where action is necessary but currently lacking and the link between EU support for research and competitiveness and innovation. For further feedback, a public online consultation remains open on this webpage until 4 February.
More
Publications
Country Focus - Private consumption in France – Stubbornly high, or responsive to determinants?

Country Focus - Private consumption in France – Stubbornly high, or responsive to determinants?
A new ECFIN publication examines why private consumption has been consistently higher in France relative to GDP growth than in other EU countries. The authors show that the strong growth of private consumption in France during the pre-crisis decade was mainly the result of high real disposable income and wealth whereas during the crisis private consumption was sustained by the working of built-in stabilizers and stimulus measures. The authors postulate that, as the latter are withdrawn, private consumption growth may lose its vigour in the coming quarters.
Upcoming:The EMU sovereign-debt crisis: Fundamentals, expectations and contagion
Upcoming:Food and energy prices, government subsidies and fiscal balances in South Mediterranean countries
More
Agenda Calls
26-30 January
Davos-Klosters, Switzerland
World Economic Forum annual meeting
14-15 February
Brussels
Eurogroup/ECOFIN meetings
18-19 February
Paris
G20 Finance meeting
1 March
Interim forecasts
14-15 March
Brussels
Eurogroup/ECOFIN meetings
24 – 25 March
European Council
16-17 April
Brussels
Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group, Washington D.C
18 May
Brussels BEF 2011 – The Brussels Economic Forum 2011
ECFIN survey on financial instruments for SMEs (Deadline: 4 February 2011)
Open invitation to tender ECFIN/R4/2010/001: Study on "Multiple framework contracts under the 'cascade' or ranking method with up to three service providers for services related to the organisation and management of events" (Deadline for submission: 7 February 2011, 16:00)
More More
Beyond this newsletter
RSS Twitter Contact Subscribe Unsubscribe
Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs