Brussels Daily
26 Jan 2017


Brussels Daily


Preparation of the ECOFIN and Eurogroup meetings, 26-27 January 2017

Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici will represent the Commission at today’s Eurogroup and tomorrow’s ECOFIN meeting. Eurogroup ministers will today take stock of the progress regarding the second review of the stability support programme to Greece and discuss the draft 2017 recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area, ahead of their approval at the ECOFIN. Ministers will also discuss the Draft Budgetary Plans of Spain and Lithuania and will be debriefed on the Post Programme Surveillance missions to Ireland and Portugal. The IMF will present the Eurogroup with its main findings from its euro area Article IV interim mission. The meeting will be followed by a press conference with Commissioner Moscovici. At tomorrow’s ECOFIN, the Commission will present its proposal on the VAT ‘reverse charge’ mechanism. If adopted, this proposal would allow Member States to temporarily derogate from the VAT system currently in force across the EU, under strict conditions. The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on the Annual Growth Survey for 2017 and on the alert mechanism report. The Commission will update the Council on the state of play of current legislative proposals in the field of financial services, as well as on negotiations on post-crisis banking reform undertaken by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Ministers will exchange views on the work programme of the Maltese Presidency in the field of economic and financial affairs. Lastly, Mario Monti will present the final report of the High-Level Group on Own Resources, which he chairs. Commissioner Oettinger will attend the meeting for this point.


Circular Economy: Commission delivers on its promises, offers guidance on recovery of energy from waste and works with the European Investment Bank to boost investment  

One year after adopting its Circular Economy Package, the Commission today reports on the delivery and progress of key initiatives of its 2015 Action Plan. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development, said: “Building a circular economy for Europe is a key priority for this Commission. We have made good progress and are planning new initiatives in 2017. We are closing the loop of design, production, consumption, and waste management, thereby creating a green, circular and competitive Europe.” Together with the report, the Commission will also present today the creation of a Circular Economy Finance Support Platform with the European Investment Bank (EIB) bringing together investors and innovators. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, said: “Building on the achievements of the Juncker Investment Plan, I am pleased that we can again work with the EIB to match investors with innovators. Our goal is to upscale investment, both public and private, in the circular economy. It very often means new business model and they may require new, innovative ways of financing. This new Platform is an excellent tool to raise awareness of the circular economy projects’ immense business potential and, consequently, draw in more funding for their financing. The Circular Economy is an important element to modernise the European economy and we are on track to deliver this sustainable change.” Finally, the Commission will issue guidance to Member States on converting waste to energy and also propose a targeted improvement of legislation on certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. A press release and a Q&A will be made available with the start of the press conference at 13.00 with First Vice-President Timmermans and Vice-President Katainen presenting today’s package.





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