Preparation of the Eurogroup and ECOFIN meetings, 4-5 December 2017

Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici will represent the European Commission at today’s Eurogroup meeting. The ministers will take stock of the progress made on the third review of the stability support programme for Greece. The Eurogroup will be debriefed on the post-programme surveillance mission to Cyprus and Spain. The ministers will hold a thematic discussion on jobs and growth, with a particular focus on the tax wedge.The meeting will include a discussion on the overall budgetary situation and prospects in the euro area as well as the Commission’s assessment of euro area Member States’ Draft Budgetary Plans. The Eurogroup is scheduled to elect a new President and adopt its work programme for the first half of next year. Continuing the meeting in an “inclusive format” open to 27 Member States, ministers will prepare the Euro Summit that will take place on 15 December and exchange views on the key policy priorities and the progress towards deepening the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Commissioner Moscovici will participate in the press conference following the meeting. At tomorrow’s ECOFIN meetings, Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici will represent the European Commission. At the ECOFIN breakfast meeting, European Fiscal Board Chairman Thygesen will present the Board’s 2017 annual report. Ministers are due to come to a final decision on the countries that should be included on the common EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. Member States are also expected to adopt the Commission’s proposals to make life easier when it comes to VAT for businesses that sell goods online. To complete the taxation file, the Council should adopt conclusions on the way forward for the taxation of the digital economy following the Commission’s Communication on this issue in September. On the financial services front, ministers will discuss the state of play of discussions on the Banking Union, including the possible way forward suggested by the Commission in its October Communication on Completing the Banking Union. Moreover, ministers will take stock of the progress achieved on the comprehensive EU banking reformpackage launched a year ago as part of the Commission’s risk-reduction agenda. The Commission will present the Annual Growth Survey 2018, the Alert Mechanism Report 2018, and a Recommendation for a Council Recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area. As proposed by the Commission the Council is expected to close the excessive deficit procedure for the United Kingdomas well as to find that Romania has failed to take effective action to correct a significant budgetary deviation, and to issue a new recommendation under the significant deviation procedure. Vice-President Dombrovskis will participate in the press conference following the ECOFIN.