EU revitalization on agenda of economy ministers’ talks
European Union – Brexit/meeting of the Eurogroup and informal Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) in Bratislava – Communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance
Paris, 12 September 2016
M. Michel Sapin took part in the Eurogroup and the informal Ecofin in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 9 and 10 September. The discussions focused on the aid programme for Greece and the necessary revitalization of the European project, in the context of preparations for Brexit.
The Eurogroup provided an opportunity to review progress in the aid programme for Greece and in discussions on the restructuring of its debt. The implementation of reforms and preliminary measures for a new disbursement were discussed.
On the Greek debt restructuring, the ministers recalled the agreement decided at the Eurogroup of 24 and 25 May endorsing the principle of implementing measures in the short, medium and long term. The first measures will be implemented between now and the end of the programme in mid-2018.
Moreover, building on an initial discussion during the Eurogroup in February, the ministers adopted a declaration setting out common principles for improving the quality of public spending reviews.
During the informal Ecofin, the ministers had a strategic discussion about the political, economic and security challenges posed to the European Union and how to respond, particularly with a view to revitalizing the European project in the context of preparations for Brexit.
On Friday afternoon, the ministers discussed the appropriateness and possible practicalities of a budgetary capability for the Euro Area. The informal Ecofin session on Saturday morning focused on the challenges of the investment plan and the fiscal priorities. The ministers exchanged views about the challenges of the fight against tax optimization and avoidance (BEPS [Base Erosion and Profit Shifting]) and the review of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.
Building on the message from the Commission in June, the ministers drew up an initial assessment of the results of the European Investment Plan (EFSI [European Fund for Strategic Investments]) – €115 billion of investment generated for more than 250 projects – with a view to continuing and broadening the EFSI./.