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Council © European Union, 2011 European Council discusses country-specific recommendations and concludes European Semester
- iGrowGreen tool assesses structural reforms’ contribution to competitive, greener economy
- Euro coin competition – only one more day left to cast your vote!
- Project bonds – results of public consultation
- Romania conference discusses how to communicate the new economic governance regime
- Euro exhibition opens in Pécs, Hungary
- Euro Taxi video on the 2011 Brussels Economic Forum
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Council © European Union, 2011 European Council discusses country-specific recommendations and concludes European Semester

Today, the European Council discusses the Commission recommendations on Member States’ national reform programmes and opinion on the Member States’ updated Stability and Convergence Programmes, concluding the first European semester. The integrated policy advice, approved by the ECOFIN Council of 20 June is set to be formally adopted at a subsequent Council meeting.
Following the Eurogroup meeting of 19 June, finance ministers also stated that the finalisation of the update of the Memorandum of Understanding between the troika and Greece, and the adoption of key laws on fiscal strategy and privatisation by the Greek parliament, would pave the way for the next disbursement of funds, expected by mid-July.

Viewpoint
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The recommendations are focused, measurable and tailored to each country’s most pressing challenges. Of course, discussions between the Commission and Member States on the Recommendations have been sometimes very intense. But I am pleased that the overall result has maintained the high level of ambition.

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
"
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Power connector © Thinkstock.com
iGrowGreen tool assesses structural reforms’ contribution to competitive, greener economy

On 9 June DG ECFIN released its analytical tool iGrowGreen. This indicator-based assessment tool systematically compares EU Member States' environmental performance with macroeconomic and fiscal implications across four green policy domains and nine policy areas, taking account of performance and changes for more than 70 indicators. It is being developed in close cooperation with the Lisbon Methodology (LIME) Working Group, a sub-committee of the Economic Policy Committee (EPC). iGrowGreen gives a mechanical indicator-based assessment of performance which should then be qualified by country-specific qualitative evidence from other sources. It can be used to help deliver the Europe 2020 climate and energy headline targets cost-efficiently and contribute to eliminating bottlenecks to green growth. In addition, it is useful for comparing the impact of green structural reforms on macroeconomic and fiscal performance across Member States.

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Euro coin competition © Tipik
Euro coin competition – only one more day left to cast your vote!

Do you want to have a say in the design of a new euro coin? Are you a citizen of, or do you live in, a euro-area country? If so, you can take part in the web vote on the design of a coin commemorating a decade of euro cash. On 1 January 2012, it will be ten years since euro banknotes and coins were put into circulation. To mark the occasion, a commemorative 2-euro coin will be issued in all euro-area Member States at the same time and with the same design. As part of the competition being run to design the coin, you can vote until 24 June for one of five designs pre-selected by a professional jury from the nearly 1 000 entries submitted. The winning design will be announced on 30 June 2011. You can also enter a prize draw for a high-value collector's set of euro coins, to be awarded at random to a participant who voted for the winning design.

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Cranes © Thinkstock.com
Project bonds – results of public consultation

The Commission on 22 June published an overview of the responses to its consultation on the Europe 2020 Project bond initiative. A total of 100 written contributions and 31 responses to the online questionnaire were received from Member States as well as from a wide range of organisations from both European and non-European countries. The responses received are being further analysed and will be used to design a Commission proposal on the initiative. The proposal will be presented to the Council and Parliament before the end of the year.
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Economic governance conference in Romania © European Union, 2011
Romania conference discusses how to communicate the new economic governance regime

On 10 June 2011, the conference “Economic governance in the European Union” was held in Bucharest, jointly organised by the National Bank of Romania (NBR), the Ministry of Finance and DG ECFIN and attended by some 200 participants plus a number of journalists. Speakers included Mugur Isarescu, Governor, NBR; Gheorghe Ialominianu, Minister of Finance; Elena Flores, Director, DG ECFIN; Theodor Stolojan, MEP; Daniel Dăianu, former Finance Minister of Romania and Hans Martens, European Policy Centre. The theme was highly topical in the run-up to the reform of EU economic governance. Interventions and debate addressed this issue in an EU as well as in a Romanian perspective.
Back-to-back with the conference, a meeting of the Directors of Communication in the ministries of finance and central banks of the EU Member States and the Euro Team members was held on 9 June. At this meeting, EU economic governance was discussed from a communication point of view. A video produced at this occasion features short interviews with key figures and participants from both events and informal interviews with members of the public.

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Euroexhibition © European Union, 2011
Euro exhibition opens in Pécs, Hungary

After successful stops in eight Member States, the European Commission's travelling euro exhibition has arrived in Pécs, Hungary. The exhibition was opened on 16 June by David Gulyas, Hungarian Ministry of Finance, and Laszlo Jankovics from the EU Representation in Hungary. The exhibition not only informs visitors about the production of banknotes and their security features, but also shows the history of the euro, the benefits of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the latest developments in the euro area such as the EU's response to the economic and financial crisis. The exhibition will be shown in Pécs until 10 July 2011.

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Eurotaxi © European Union, 2011 G20 leaders in Seoul 2010 © G20 Seoul Summit - All rights reserved
Euro Taxi video on the 2011 Brussels Economic Forum

The video features short interviews with key figures from the conference, including Stefan Ingves, Governor of Sveriges Riksbank, Sweden, and Sharon Bowles, Member of European Parliament, Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, as well as conference participants and informal interviews with members of the public. On their way to the 2011 Brussels Economic Forum, interviewees present their views on how European economic governance will be strengthened and how they see the economic future of Europe.
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Publications
Country Focus examines Italy's regional divide: does it also matter for exports?

Country Focus examines Italy's regional divide: does it also matter for exports?
The existence of a large and persistent regional economic divide in Italy is a well-known and extensively studied phenomenon. In the latest ECFIN Country Focus, published on 23 June, Marco Montanari looks at a dimension of regional disparities which is less frequently investigated: the performance of exports and their geographical and sector specialisation. The Country Focus provides an overview of some of the dimensions of Italy's regional economic divide that are most relevant to competitiveness developments over the last decade, analyses the evolution and geographical orientation of regional exports, and compares the comparative advantages and similarity of export goods of the Centre-North and the South relative to their main competitors.


Upcoming: Product market review
Upcoming: Labour market review 2010
Upcoming: Reforming the international monetary system: options and implications, Economic Paper
Upcoming: Quarterly report on the euro area
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Agenda Calls
22-23 June
Brussels
European Parliament Mini-plenary session
24 June
Brussels
European Council
11-12 July
Brussels
Eurogroup/ECOFIN meetings
16-17 October
Wroclaw, Poland
Informal ECOFIN meeting
3-4 November
Brussels
Eurogroup/ECOFIN meetings
17-18 November
Brussels
European Council
21 November
Brussels
DG ECFIN. Annual Research Conference 2011 - New growth models for Europe
Internal Market. Public consultation "The EU corporate governance framework" (deadline 22 July)
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Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs