Eurogroup President Paschal Donohoe travels to Croatia and Slovenia

© European Union, 2020, Source: Council of the EU – Audiovisual resources© European Union, 2020, Source: Council of the EU – Audiovisual resources

On Thursday 9 September, President Donohoe will travel to Croatia, which is undertaking the process for euro accession. President Donohoe will meet with Croatia’s Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zdravko Marić to discuss the economic recovery from Covid and Croatia’s preparations for joining the Euro.

On Friday 10 September, President Donohoe will chair a meeting of the Finance Ministers of the euro area. They will be joined by Dr. Andrea Ammon of the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), who will provide an update on the current health situation in Europe.

Over 70% of all adults in the EU – and over 89% in Ireland – are fully vaccinated. This impressive result, achieved in just over 9 months, demonstrates the success of the EU’s common vaccination strategy and record vaccine production capacity. These efforts have allowed the reopening of Europe for citizens and businesses, with mobility indices returning to pre-crisis levels and economic sentiment indicators reaching all-time highs.

Eurogroup continues to monitor closely the health situation and its impact on economies as Finance Ministers of the euro area ramp up their preparations for their national budgets.

The Chair of the European Parliament’s ECON Committee, Irene Tinagli, will also join Ministers to reflect on how economic reopening is fuelling recovery. There is evidence of a strong rebound in euro area GDP growth (+2% Q2 on Q1; +13.6% compared to Q2 2020) and strong growth for the hardest hit countries according to the latest Eurostat figures. This new data signals stronger GDP growth for 2021 as a whole, at over 5% in euro area.

Most importantly, employment in euro area increased by 0.5% in Q2, the highest level since the start of the crisis. In July, the euro area unemployment rate was 7.6%, down from 8.4% in July 2020.

The success of the vaccine rollout in Europe and the consequent reopening continues to boost our economic outlook. We have seen a strong rebound in euro area GDP growth and an improving employment situation, due to the recovery from the health crisis. It is my pleasure to invite Dr. Andrea Ammon to join us for the latest update on the health situation, which will inform budget preparations of Finance Ministers across the Euro Area in the coming weeks.

Paschal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup

COVID-19 was a common shock but it affected economies and societies in different ways. The Eurogroup will discuss how to manage the uneven impact of the pandemic in the medium term.

Eurogroup will also take stock of corporate solvency and resilience in the Euro Area. President Donohoe will highlight the latest developments:

“As we emerge from the teeth of the health crisis, I note the positive impact of the choices we have made to date at euro area and at national level. Recent developments point to lower levels of insolvencies than previously anticipated. Our corporate sector has proved more resilient than we expected. Our policy choices have mitigated the economic impact of the pandemic. At the same time, we need to remain alert and continue to monitor the situation, while supporting businesses and citizens as we build a sustainable recovery.”