Chapter News

Main results of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council

Growth prospects and macroeconomic imbalances

 The Council discussed growth prospects and macroeconomic imbalances under the ‘European Semester’, the EU’s annual policy monitoring process. 

It adopted conclusions and approved a draft recommendation on the economic policies of the euro area. 

“We are calling on member states to redouble their efforts to create a virtuous triangle of boosting investment, pursuing structural reforms and ensuring responsible fiscal policies“, said Edward Scicluna, Maltese minister for finance and president of the Council. “These are our policy priorities for 2017 and the Commission’s annual growth survey will guide us when we come to draw up our national programmes in the spring.”

The Council broadly agreed with the analysis provided by the Commission in its annual growth survey. On macroeconomic imbalances, the Commission is due to publish ‘in-depth reviews’ in February of the situation in 13 member states. 

The draft recommendation for the euro area will be referred to the European Council with a view to adoption in March. 

EU budgetary own resources 

Former EU commissioner and  Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who has chaired a high-level group looking at EU budgetary own resources, presented to ministers the group’s final report and recommendations. 

The group’s report will provide input into the Commission’s thinking on whether to propose a reform of the own resources system for the period after 2020. 

In its report, the high-level group recommends: 

  • focusing expenditure on EU policies that can bring the most added value
  • introducing new revenue sources directly linked to the European dimension;
  • complementing budgetary net balance calculations with cost-benefit analyses

“Mario Monti’s presentation led to a useful discussion. I hope that the various points made by ministers today will help the Commission as it begins to reflect on a possible reform of  the own resources rules”, Mr Scicluna said. 

Presidency programme 

The Council discussed the Maltese presidency work programme for economic and financial affairs until June 2017. 

The programme covers financial services, economic governance, investment, taxation and the EU budget.

Compliments of the European Council