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European Council Brussels, 04 February 2011 - Family photo © The Council of the European Union EU leaders target agreement on Commission governance proposals, new framework
- Commission services publish staff report on Ireland’s adjustment programme
- New precautionary EU financial assistance for Romania
- EU set to increase EBRD capital commitment
- ‘Q&A’ webpage on the response to the crisis
- European Commission calls for action on commodities and raw materials
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European Council Brussels, 04 February 2011 - Family photo © The Council of the European Union EU leaders target agreement on Commission governance proposals, new framework

A final agreement on the European Commission legislative proposals on economic governance of 29 September should be reached by the end of June, in order to strengthen the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact and implement a new macroeconomic framework, EU leaders have stressed. In the conclusions from the 4 February European Council meeting in Brussels, the Council was urged to agree a general approach on the proposals in March. The summit among other topics identified the tasks relating to the EU economy that should be completed before the next European Council meeting, notably with a view to pursuing work on a comprehensive strategy for the euro area. Building on the new economic governance framework, Heads of State or Government of the euro area signalled their readiness to achieve “a new quality of economic policy coordination” in the euro area, so as to improve competitiveness. The March European Council will identify priorities for structural reforms and fiscal consolidation in view of the next round of stability and convergence programmes, and national reform programmes.

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It is extremely positive that Member States are committing to a comprehensive agenda and that they recognise that more convergence is necessary to achieve higher levels of economic competitiveness.

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, following the 4 February European Council
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Stormont © Thinkstock.com
Commission services publish staff report on Ireland’s adjustment programme

In late November 2010 a €85 billion financial package for Ireland was agreed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. This was in response to increasingly negative market sentiment towards Ireland given the scale of its fiscal and financial challenges following a credit-fuelled property bubble. The European Commission services have now released an analysis entitled “The Economic Adjustment Programme for Ireland", which looks at the build-up and bursting of the bubble. The analysis then explains the economic build-up to the programme, and how it is designed to fix Ireland's banking sector and put the public finances back on a sustainable path. It also includes the background documents including fiscal targets and policy commitments agreed between the Irish authorities and the EU-IMF.
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Romanian Parliament Bucharest © Thinkstock.com
New precautionary EU financial assistance for Romania

A joint EC/IMF/WB mission visited Bucharest from 25 January to 8 February 2011. A draft precautionary programme was agreed at staff level to succeed the current international assistance expiring in May. The new EU programme, if approved, would most likely provide up to EUR 1.4 billion in conjunction with a precautionary IMF programme and support from the World Bank. The new programme gives a positive signal to markets that Romania remains committed to its comprehensive reform agenda while having re-established a stable access to market-based financing. Furthermore, the government's economic programme has a stronger focus on product and labour market reforms, while continuing the fiscal adjustment and consolidating financial sector reform.
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Investments © Thinkstock.com G20 leaders in Seoul 2010 © G20 Seoul Summit - All rights reserved
EU set to increase EBRD capital commitment

The European Union is to subscribe to additional shares in the capital of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) under a proposal from the European Commission. The proposal – for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the EU Council of Ministers – follows the decision in May 2010 of the EBRD Board of Governors to increase the authorised capital of the EBRD from €20 billion to €30 billion. The Bank’s capital enhancement was agreed in response to the financial crisis and the need for the EBRD’s activity to be stepped up to help support recovery in its region of operation, namely central and eastern Europe, the Balkans and central Asia. The EU's total subscribed capital would increase to just over €900 million.
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Aerial view of mining © European Commission
European Commission calls for action on commodities and raw materials

Steps to improve the regulation, functioning and transparency of financial and commodity markets are among the actions called for by the European Commission in a Communication on commodities and raw materials issued on 2 February. Significantly for the EU economy, the Commission’s initiative looks to respond to the recent volatility in commodity prices that is threatening to push up inflation and aims to safeguard the competitiveness of European industry in terms of secure supply of raw materials. The Communication is closely related to reform of the regulatory framework for financial markets. This includes proposals for a review of the Market Abuse Directive and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive foreseen for spring 2011. It is also intended to contribute to the “Europe 2020” flagship initiative 'A resource-efficient Europe'.
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Publications
Questions and answers © European Commission

‘Q&A’ webpage on the response to the crisis
A new ‘question-and-answer’ webpage on the EU response to the financial and economic crisis is now available online. Giving an overview of frequently asked or discussed questions, the Q&A factsheet covers topics including why and how financial assistance is provided to Member States, and strengthening Economic & Monetary Union. The webpage is just one of the concrete tools and solutions being provided by the European Commission and DG ECFIN in relation to the crisis. It will be updated regularly based on further discussions and developments.
Upcoming: The EMU sovereign-debt crisis: Fundamentals, expectations and contagion, Economic Paper 436
Upcoming: Food and energy prices, government subsidies and fiscal balances in south Mediterranean countries, Economic Paper 437
Upcoming: Capital flows to converging European economies – from boom to drought and beyond, Occasional Paper 75
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Agenda Calls
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
Brussels
European Council
16-17 April
Washington D.C.
Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group
13 May
European economic forecast, spring 2011
18 May
Brussels
BEF 2011 – The Brussels Economic Forum 2011
No calls available right now.
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Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs