07 Jul 2015
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 07 JULYBrussels Daily
President Juncker’s speech at the European Parliament on the review of the Latvian Presidency and ahead of the Euro summit on Greece
Speaking in front of the European Parliament today, President Juncker praised the success of the Latvian Presidency saying it was an “efficient and determined Presidency focused on delivering concrete results”. He thanked the Latvian Presidency for notably having helped to deliver – through its excellent negotiation skills – the European Fund for Strategic Investments which is at the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. Speaking on Greece ahead of the Euro Summit tonight, President Juncker said that “the ball is most definitely in the court of the Greek government” which now has to explain how it intends to move forward following the outcome of the referendum in Greece. He stressed the readiness of the Commission to play a constructive role and help the process: “The European Commission for its part is ready to do everything to get to an agreement within an acceptable timeframe.” He reiterated that “We don’t want Greece out of the Eurozone or the European Union, and we will continue to work on the reopening of negotiations.” With regards to his expectations ahead of tonight’s Euro Summit, President Juncker said that “We will sit down tonight and will try to get things going without rhetorical side-effects so that we can get to an agreeable solution. (…) The Commission would like to know what the “no” vote means, because I am told it’s not a no to Europe, and I am told it’s not a “no” to the euro. It cannot be a “no” to the proposals by the institutions, because they were no longer on the table.” Finally, President Juncker reiterated his strong determination to keep Greece firmly anchored in the eurozone: “My aim is to prevent Grexit. I am against Grexit,” he said adding that “In Europe there are no easy answers. Europe is about the permanent grappling for compromise solutions.” Read Speech here.
EUROSTAT: Government expenditure accounted for 48.1% of GDP in the EU in 2014
In 2014, total general government expenditure amounted to €6 701 billion in the European Union (EU). This represented almost half (48.1%) of EU GDP in 2014, compared with 48.6% in 2013. In the euro area, the share stood at 49.0% in 2014 (49.4% in 2013). Among EU Member States, general government expenditure varied in 2014 from less than 35% of GDP in Lithuania and Romania to more than 57% in Finland, France and Denmark. A detailed breakdown of general government expenditure by main functions is available for 2013. In the EU, the function ‘social protection’ was by far the most important, accounting for 40.2% of total general government expenditure. The next most important areas in terms of general government expenditure were ‘health’ (14.8%), ‘general public services’ such as external affairs and public debt transactions (14.1%), ‘education’ (10.3%) and ‘economic affairs’ (8.8%). The functions ‘public order and safety’ (3.7%), ‘defence’ (2.9%), ‘recreation, culture and religion’ (2.2%), ‘environmental protection’ (1.7%) and ‘housing and community amenities’ (1.4%) had more limited weights. This data at EU level mask however significant differences between the EU Member States regarding both the share and the ranking of each function of general government expenditure. This information on general government expenditure by function comes from an online publication released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. A press release is available here.
Read today’s edition in full: Daily News 07 – 07 – 2015