Eurogroup and Economic and Financial Affairs Council meetings, 4 and 5 December 2019
Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni will represent the Commission at this week’s Eurogroup and ECOFIN meetings. The Eurogroup will discuss the Commission’s Opinions on euro area Member States’ Draft Budgetary Plans and the fourth Enhanced Surveillance report on Greece. It will also adopt its work programme for the first half of next year and is expected to re-appoint Hans Vijlbrief as President of the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG) for a second two-year term. The Commission will brief the Eurogroup on the main findings of the post-programme surveillance reports on Cyprus and Spain. The Eurogroup will then continue in an inclusive format to follow up on the December 2018 Euro Summit and the June 2019 Euro Summit on further strengthening Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union. The discussions in this inclusive format will focus, in particular, on the reform of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Treaty, the roadmap for political negotiations on the European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) and further follow-up to the agreement on the Budgetary Instrument for Convergence and Competitiveness (BICC) term sheet in October. Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni will participate in the press conference following the meeting. On Thursday, 5 December, the ECOFIN Council will kick off with a presentation by the Finnish Presidency of a progress report on the state of play on the banking union. This will take stock of the different work streams to strengthen the banking union, notably the proposal to establish a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS), the implementation of the banking package and the action plan to tackle non-performing loans. Ministers are set to adopt conclusions on the EU energy taxation framework – a part of the ongoing work towards a climate-neutral EU – as well as conclusions on the financing of EU development policies. In line with the EU strategic agenda 2019-2024, conclusions on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism are also to be adopted. Finally, Ministers are expected to adopt conclusions that set out five main objectives to deepen the Capital Markets Union (CMU), in a bid to foster cross-border capital flows across the EU and to strengthen the economy. As a follow up to their previous discussions, Ministers should approve the ECOFIN work plan on climate action, which includes sustainable finance, green budgeting, green taxation and green investment. On behalf of the Commission, Executive Vice President, Valdis Dombrovskis, will present the report made on the implementation of the EU’s 2018 sustainable finance action plan and will also update the Council on the preparation of the new Green Financing Strategy underpinning the upcoming European Green Deal. Ministers will then be invited to hold a strategic discussion on the future agenda for sustainable finance. Finally, the Council and the Commission are due to approve a joint statement on stablecoins. Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis will participate in the press conference following the meeting.