EU ministers gather for ECOFIN meeting today

New sources of financing in view of the multiannual financial framework package for 2021-2027 to be discussed

The finance ministers of the eurozone met yesterday at the Eurogroup meeting and are gathering today as well for the ECOFIN meetings in Brussels. At both events Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Gunther H. Oettinger and Commissioner Pierre Moscovici represent the Commission.

During yesterday's informal meeting discussed were the fiscal stance of the euro area, the third enhanced surveillance report on Greece and have been debriefed on the main findings of the eleventh post-programme surveillance mission to Spain, as well as the latest analysis from the ECB regarding the international role of the euro. Regarding Italy, the discussions between the Commission and the Italian authorities have led to significant improvements in the 2019 budget, and the Commission explained its recent decision that an Excessive Deficit Procedure is no longer warranted.

The Bulgarian candidature for eurozone membership has also entered the last minute on the agenda. Authorities discussed Bulgaria's progress in relation to its desire to join the ERM II. The currency mechanism, which is referred to as the waiting room, or the eurozone training room, is the first step towards the adoption of the euro. In a statement by Eurogroup President Mario Centeno following the Eurogroup meeting, it was stressed that Croatia has also sent a letter on its intention to join ERM II and Banking Union. 
"The Croatian authorities have set out actions they will take to ease the transition. We welcomed the commitments in the areas of banking supervision, institutional quality, governance and the business environment. These are highly relevant for a smooth entry and participation in ERM II. They show Croatia’s determination to be part of the euro family," Centeno said.

Meanwhile, at the ECOFIN meeting today, 9 July, the Finnish Council Presidency will present its work programme on economic and financial matters. Ministers will also hold a discussion with Commissioner Oettinger on the EU's own resources and new sources of financing in view of the multiannual financial framework package for 2021-2027. In addition, the Council will adopt the country-specific recommendations which conclude the European Semester for 2019.

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