17 Mar 2017
EUROGROUP AGENDA 20 MARCHBrussels Daily
Draft budgetary plans and the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact
Ministers will discuss implementation of euro area member states’ draft budgetary plans for 2017 and the budgetary situation in the euro area as a whole, taking into account the economic outlook presented by the European Commission in its 2017 Winter Forecast, published on 13 February.
The discussion is the Eurogroup’s follow-up to its meeting on 5 December 2016, when ministers looked into the draft budgetary plans, and to its discussion on 26 January, when ministers exchanged views on the updated budgetary plans of Spain and Lithuania.
The Eurogroup is expected to adopt a statement summarising the discussion.
Thematic discussion on growth and jobs: pension systems
The Eurogroup will continue its thematic discussion on the euro area member states’ pension systems. Ministers will look into the possibility of introducing benchmarking in this policy area, and will discuss the choice of indicators and the frequency of reporting. The discussion will be based on a recent analysis by the European Commission.
The Eurogroup held a debate on this theme in June 2016, when ministers agreed on a set of common principles for strengthening the fiscal sustainability of pension systems, and invited the Commission to explore benchmarking that would be suitable in this context.
The Eurogroup will discuss developments regarding the second review of Greece’s macroeconomic adjustment programme since the last Eurogroup meeting in February.
The institutions (European Commission, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Stability Mechanism) and the Greek Minister for Finance, Euclid Tsakalotos, are expected to report on the progress achieved towards concluding a staff-level agreement on the required policy reforms.
A staff-level agreement is a step towards concluding a review of a programme. A completed review, in turn, is a condition for releasing a further instalment of financial support available under the programme.
Reporting on debt issuance plans
The Eurogroup will exchange views on the euro area member states’ reporting on their annual debt issuance plans.
The euro area countries have to report in advance to the European Commission and the Eurogroup on their national debt issuance plans. This is an annual procedure, carried out in accordance with the EU’s policy coordination rules applicable to the euro area member states only (known as the ‘two-pack’). The aim of the exercise is to improve the coordination of euro area member states’ public debt issuance planning.