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Main results of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council

Main results

Highlights from the Economic and Financial Affairs Council held in Brussels on 9 July 2019

Finnish presidency programme

Finland, which took over the rotating presidency of the Council on 1 July, presented its priorities for its term in the area of economic and financial affairs.

There are two words at the top our Presidency programme: climate change. We need to be realistic about the challenge the world is facing and ambitious about how to tackle it. That is why during our presidency, we will put sustainable growth and initiatives to facilitate the transition towards a low-carbon economy at the forefront of our work programme.

Mika Lintilä, Finnish minister of finance

Over the course of its presidency, Finland will have the following priorities:

  • Enhanced action on climate change
  • More robust and well-functioning financial markets.
  • Simplification of economic policy coordination
  • Simple and effective taxation
  • Maximising the added value of the European financial architecture for development
  • EU budget with sound financial management

Own resources

Ministers took stock of the state of play in the discussions on the own resources legislative package in the context of the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027.

In May 2018, the Commission proposed modernising the existing system of EU own resources, including through three new own resources: payment based on plastic waste, share of the emissions trading system receipts and share of the common consolidated corporate tax base.

The Council considered in particular the possibility of new potential new sources of revenue beyond the original ones the Commission suggested in its proposal. The Commission indicated that it is prepared to provide all the necessary technical studies.

Technical work on the matter will continue in view of the European Council’s discussion on the multi-annual financial framework at its October meeting.

ECB Presidency

The Council adopted a recommendation to the European Council on the nomination of Christine Lagarde as the next president of the European Central Bank.

The recommendation formalises the agreement reached by the European Council on 2 July to support Christine Lagarde as a candidate for the post.

The European Council is expected to take a formal decision on the appointment in October, after having consulted the European Parliament and the ECB’s Governing Council.

The new President will succeed Mario Draghi, whose term of office expires on 31 October 2019, for a non-renewable 8-year term.

Country-specific recommendations

The Council issued its 2019 recommendations and opinions to member states’ on their economic, employment and fiscal policies, thereby concluding this year’s European Semester exercise. The recommendations were discussed by the European Council in June and approved by the EPSCO Council on 8 July.

The overall objective of the recommendations is to encourage member states to increase their growth potential by modernising their economies and further strengthen their resilience.

Despite global uncertainties and less favourable conditions, all member states’ economies are projected to grow in 2020 and the level of unemployment is at a record low.  In this context, the country specific recommendations focus on implementing effective structural reforms, boosting investment strategies and encouraging responsible fiscal policies.

©European Union

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