Preparation of the Eurogroup and ECOFIN meetings, Brussels 11-12 July

Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici will represent the European Commission at today’s Eurogroup meeting, where the agenda includes adiscussion on the economic and financial situation in the euro area in the aftermath of the UK referendum.The Eurogroup will also be debriefed by the European Commission and the ECB on the main findings of the 5th post-programme surveillance mission to Ireland and on the 4th post-programme surveillance mission to Portugal. On the Stability and Growth Pact front, the Eurogroup will discuss the budgetary situation of Spain and Portugal on the basis of the update presented by the Commission on 7 July, and more broadly the fiscal stance of the euro area ahead of the preparation of the draft budgetary plans and the euro area recommendations for 2017. It will also hold a thematic discussion on how to address structural and regulatory obstacles to investment.  The meeting will be followed bya press conference. Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Moscovici and Commissioner Jourová will represent the Commission at tomorrow’s ECOFIN meeting. The Commission will present its latest work towards new transparency rules to fight terrorism financing, tax avoidance and money laundering. This follows the launch last week of our Communication on further measures to enhance tax transparency and fight tax evasion and tax avoidance, and a proposal to further reinforce EU rules on anti-money laundering to counter terrorist financing and increase transparency about who really owns companies and trusts. The Council will be updated on the implementation of the Banking Union and the state of play of current legislative proposals in the field of financial services. It is also expected to adopt conclusions on the finalisation of the Basel Committee’s post-crisis banking reform agenda. The Ministers will be debriefed on investment barriers in the context of the third pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, and will have an exchange of views on convergence reports of the Commission and the ECB. They will also prepare for the upcoming G20 Finance Ministers meeting which takes place in Chengdu, China on 23-24 July 2016. Further to the recommendations adopted by the Commission on 7 July, the Council is due to decide on the absence of effective action by Spain and Portugal to correct their excessive deficit. As regards the European semester process, the Council is expected to formally adopt the 2016 country-specific recommendations, following their endorsement by the European Council in June. The meeting will be followed by a press conference.