Preparation of the Eurogroup meeting and of the ECOFIN Council meeting

This afternoon, Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici will participate in the Eurogroup meeting. The Eurogroup will take stock of the developments in the economic programmes of Greece and Cyprus. The Ministers are also due to hold a follow-up debate on the implementation of the draft budgetary plans for 2016. Finally, the Commission will take part in a discussion on the use of benchmarking in respect of structural policy aspects in order to work towards best practices. On Tuesday 8 March, Vice-President Katainen, Commissioner Moscovici and Commissioner Hill will represent the Commission at the ECOFIN Council meeting. On the legislative front, Ministers will be asked to reach a general approach on a draft directive on the exchange of tax-related information of multinational companies between tax administrations. They will also take note of progress on banking union files. In the context of the Semester discussion, the Commission will present Member states with findings regarding the implementation of structural reforms at national level to tackle barriers to investment, in line with the third pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. Ministers will also exchange views on the Country reports published on 26 February, which take stock of the on the progress made in addressing their 2015 country specific recommendations. Finally, the Commission will report jointly with the Presidency on the outcome of the G20 meeting held in Shanghai. Commissioner Moscovici will represent the Commission at both press conferences (streamed live on EbS) following the Eurogroup and the ECOFIN meeting respectively.