22 May 2017
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 22 MAYBrussels Daily
PREPARATION OF THE EUROGROUP AND ECOFIN MEETINGS, BRUSSELS 22-23 MAY 2017
Commissioner Moscovici will represent the European Commission at today’s meeting of the Eurogroup. The Eurogroup will discuss the next steps towards concluding the second review of the stability support programme for Greece following the preliminary agreement reached between the institutions and the Greek authorities on a policy package earlier this month. Ministers will discuss the economic situation and outlook for the euro area on the basis of the European Commission’s Spring 2017 Economic Forecast. The Commission and the European Central Bank will also debrief ministers on the main findings of the seventh post-programme surveillance mission to Spain. Commissioner Moscovici will participate in the press conference following the meeting. At tomorrow’s ECOFIN, Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici will represent the Commission. Ministers are expected to agree on a new dispute resolution mechanism for taxation. The new rules would address the problem of double taxation, which currently creates uncertainty and unnecessary costs for many companies. The measures form part of a wider package of corporate tax reforms proposed by the Commission last October. A political debate on common rules for taxing corporate profits in the EU (the CCCTB) will also take place on Tuesday. The European Commission will also present its report on addressing national barriers to capital flows, part of its ongoing efforts to build integrated financial markets in the context of the Capital Markets Union. As part of the European Semester, the Council will adopt conclusions on the macroeconomic imbalance procedures on the basis of the in-depth reviews. Finally, Ministers will follow up on the general conclusions drawn by the G20 summit that took place in Washington D.C. on 21-23 April during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring meetings. Vice-President Dombrovskis will participate in the press conference following the ECOFIN session.
EUROPEAN SEMESTER 2017 SPRING PACKAGE: COMMISSION ISSUES COUNTRY-SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS
Today Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Thyssen and Commissioner Moscovici presented the 2017 country-specific recommendations (CSRs), spelling out the economic policy guidance for Member States for the coming 12 to 18 months. The European economy has proven resilient in the face of significant challenges; reflected in growth rates of nearly 2 % in both the euro area and the EU in 2016, improving public finances and employment levels at a record of nearly 233 million people. Unemployment is at its lowest level since 2009 and investments exceed pre-crisis levels in some Member States – also helped by the Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan. Although economic conditions in the euro area and the EU are improving, challenges remain: slow productivity growth and the legacies of the crisis, including disparities within and across countries, continue to weigh on the economy, as does uncertainty stemming mostly from external factors. The Commission therefore calls on Member States to use this window of opportunity to strengthen the fundamentals of their economies by implementing the economic and social priorities identified in common at European level – boosting investment, pursuing structural reforms and ensuring responsible fiscal policies. Particular attention is paid to the challenges and priorities identified for the euro area. Priorities vary across the EU but further efforts across the board are essential to achieve more inclusive, robust and sustainable growth. For more information see the press release and memo