31 May 2018
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 31 MAY Brussels Daily
EU Budget: A Reform Support Programme and an Investment Stabilisation Function to strengthen Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union
Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici have presented the Commission’s proposals to create a Reform Support Programme and a European Investment Stabilisation Function. Both proposals are part of the broader agenda to deepen Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union and make use of the EU budget to strengthen the performance and resilience of our interdependent economies. The Reform Support Programme will support priority reforms in all EU Member States, with an overall budget of €25 billion. It comprises three elements: a Reform Delivery Tool, to provide financial support for reforms; a Technical Support Instrument, to offer and share technical expertise; and a Convergence Facility, to help Member States on their way to joining the euro. The European Investment Stabilisation Function will help stabilise public investment levels and facilitate rapid economic recovery in cases of significant economic shocks in Member States of the euro area and those participating in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II). This Function will complement the role of existing national automatic stabilisers. Subject to strict criteria of sound macroeconomic and fiscal policies, loans of up to €30 billion can be rapidly mobilised, together with an interest rate subsidy to cover their cost. Commenting on the proposals, President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The Economic and Monetary Union is first and foremost about improving the lives of all Europeans. As we look to our future and celebrate the 20thanniversary of our single currency, we must equip the EU and our euro area with the necessary tools to deliver even more prosperity and stability. Today’s proposals are about making the Economic and Monetary Union the protecting and uniting force that it was conceived to be. The Commission is putting the EU budget at work to boost the performance, resilience and response capacity of all Member States, whether already in the euro or preparing to join. The euro is the currency of our Union – a strong and stable euro area is key to its members as well as to the EU as a whole.” A press release and memo are available online. Factsheets and the legislative proposals are available here.
Commission welcomes provisional political agreement reached by European Parliament and Council on new rules to make national competition authorities even more effective enforcers
The European Commission welcomes the provisional political agreement reached yesterday by the European Parliament and the Council on the Commission proposal of March 2017 for a Directive to make Member States’ competition authorities even more effective enforcers of EU antitrust rules. The Directive intends to further empower the national competition authorities by providing them with appropriate enforcement tools, to bring about a genuine common competition enforcement area. Commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, said: “EU antitrust rules make markets work better for European consumers and businesses, giving them more choice and better prices. Member States’ competition authorities and the Commission work together hand in hand to enforce these rules across the EU. This Directive will give national competition authorities effective tools and make sure they have the resources necessary to detect and sanction companies that break EU competition rules. It will also ensure that they can take their decisions in full independence, based on the facts and the law. I would like to thank the European Parliament – especially the Rapporteur Andreas Schwab and the shadow rapporteurs – and the Bulgarian, Estonian and Maltese Presidencies for their commendable work on this file.” The legal text still needs to be formally approved by the European Parliament and Council, which is expected by the end of 2018. The full statement is available online.