Staikouras in Eurogroup / Ecofin: stimulating investment and supporting the labor market
Current developments and outlook in the euro area, at the fiscal and macroeconomic level, based on the European Commission spring forecast, were discussed, among others, at Eurogroup meetings on Friday and Ecofin today. hui in Lisbon, in the presence of the Minister of Finance, Christos Staikouras.
The Minister of Finance, as announced in a relevant announcement, underlined that it was particularly encouraging that the forecasts of the Commission as a whole had been revised for the better, welcoming the inclusion in the forecasts of the positive effects that the Stimulus Fund resources will take on European economies. which should however start to be disbursed as soon as possible, in the third quarter of the year (3 countries have not yet ratified the agreement on own resources, a condition of European access to the markets).
Regarding the long-term effects of the health crisis on the European economy and the means to face it, the Minister of Finance, after emphasizing the faster adaptation – compared to the first phase of the pandemic – of the economies to the shock of the health crisis, risks and challenges recognized for all European economies. As the Minister stressed, it is important to avoid and face these risks, to strengthen investments and to enjoy support and a smooth adjustment in the labor market.
In addition, he stressed that progress in the areas of digitization and green economy should be enhanced, as well as the implementation of structural changes. The quality of public investments will play an important role, as well as investments in the fields of education, research and innovation, the finance ministry said in a statement.
For the transition of EU countries towards a balanced, resilient and inclusive recovery process, Christos Staikouras, after stressing that Europe is dealing effectively and in a timely manner with the economic consequences of the unprecedented health crisis, spoke of the need to relocate – gradually and cautiously – temporary support measures for development policies.
At the same time, he supported the need to start discussions in the second half of the year on changes to the Stability and Growth Pact, which should be better coordinated with developments in the real economy, in order to achieve the long-term sustainability of public finances. , to offer the maximum flexibility to face crises, protect and encourage public investment and, lastly, be transparent in its design and implementation.
In any case, underlines the Ministry of Finance, the necessary budgetary balance in the future should be achieved thanks to the recovery and growth of European economies.
Regarding the role of fiscal policy as a tool to fight climate change, thus contributing to economic recovery, the Minister of Finance stressed that Greece was positive in the use – in a fair and well-designed way – of fiscal policy in the direction of combating climate change. change.
Finally, according to the same announcement, the finance ministers were informed by the competent institutions of the functioning of the joint control and consolidation mechanisms within the banking union. At a joint meeting with the governors of the national central banks, the strengthening of the synchronized impact of monetary and fiscal policy on the European economy and the importance of public investments were discussed at length.
It is also known that the Minister of Finance stressed the need to continue the coordination of budgetary and monetary policy, by extending policies to support the rapid recovery and sustainable development of European economies, in a socially just manner and in a way that does not create. “two-speed European economies”. »From an external health crisis.
During these meetings, Christos Staikouras held a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Finance of Romania, during which the process of disbursement and use of resources from the Recovery Fund was discussed, with the aim of strengthening investments and promote reforms, while participating in its Meeting. European People’s Party.