On 12thJuly, a meeting of the Economic and Financial Council (ECOFIN) will be held under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski. It will be the first meeting of EU finance ministers since Poland took over the Presidency of the European Union Council.
Minister Jacek Rostowski will present the ECOFIN Council’s work plan for the latter half of 2011 as well as the top priorities which are: implementing growth-increase initiatives and the stabilisation of EU’s public finances.
In the course of the meeting, the Council will take a decision to drop excessive-deficit procedures against Finland, since that country has undertaken effective measures lowering its deficit to below the reference value of 35 GDP. The council will also adopt conclusions based on motions arising out of the EC’s spring forecasts pertaining to budget supervision and excessive-deficit procedures.
Apart from the formal adoption of recommendations for individual countries, on that day the continuation of what is known as the European Semester at the national level is due to begin. In effect, member states should make use of those recommendations when taking decisions and planning their 2012 budgets.
The finance ministers will also discuss the state of preparation of national repair tools and methods before publishing the test results of extreme conditions in the banking sector, planned for mid-July. The overriding aim of those efforts is to ensure the security of the financial system of the European Union as well as of individual member countries.
In addition, the finance ministers will acquaint themselves with information on the G20 meeting of deputy finance ministers held in Paris on 9th-10thJuly 2011. They will also be briefed on the measures taken as a result of European Council decisions of June this year. The latter point will include a discussion on efforts to adopt a packet of six legal acts bolstering the EU’s economic management (popularly known as the ‘six-pack’).
At the meeting, the EC will submit its report on the effectiveness of applying directives pertaining to the taxation of savings revenues. The point is to launch working-level activities on a mandate to negotiate agreements with third-party states on measures equivalent to the above-mentioned directive.
Additionally, on the sidelines of the Council, a meeting of finance ministers from the EU and states involved in the Instrument for Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and Investment (FEMIP) will be held. The meeting is being co-organised by the Polish Presidency and the European Investment Bank. This exemplifies EU and EIB support for democratisation as well as for the strengthening of the economic potential and growth of the states of the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood.