Department of Finance of Ireland

12/07/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2023 18:06

Minister McGrath travels to Brussels to represent Ireland at ECOFIN and Eurogroup meetings

On Thursday 7th December, the Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD, will travel to Brussels to represent Ireland at the December ECOFIN and Eurogroup meetings.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Minister McGrath stated:

"I look forward to a busy two days of discussions with my European colleagues on a wide variety of important issues. Intensive discussions have continued at senior officials' level on the ongoing efforts to reform Europe's fiscal rules, a key pillar of economic coordination in the EU, and we hope to see further progress at a ministerial level this week. We will also discuss the economic and financial impact of Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, and a number of important updates which launch the European Semester process for 2024. Beyond this, we will look once more at progress on the digital euro project and finish up with a stock-take on the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility including a number of updates to Member States' recovery plans."

At the Eurogroup on Thursday afternoon, Minister McGrath will join his ministerial colleagues in discussing Member States' draft budgetary plans and their assessment of the budgetary situation and prospects of the euro area. The European Commission will also present the euro area recommendations for 2024 and there will be a discussion held on the functioning of the exchange rate mechanism.

Under miscellaneous items, the Finance Minister of Luxembourg will present the economic and financial policy priorities of the new government of Luxembourg (a standing item at Eurogroup when new governments are elected in euro area member states) and there will be an update on ESM treaty ratification.

At the Eurogroup in inclusive format, Ministers will have an exchange of views with guests on the future of European capital and financial markets and on the drivers of progress in this area.

ECOFIN starts on Friday morning with a formal working breakfast and the usual updates on the economic situation and a debrief from Eurogroup the previous day, as well as a discussion regarding the review of the EU's economic governance framework.

Following on from the breakfast, the Presidency will present its draft progress report on the proposed new own-resources package under the EU Budget. There will then be further discussion on the Economic Governance Review. This complex examination will be divided up into a number of items based on the Commission's legislative proposals.

Following this, a progress update will be given on the Single Currency Package, which will include the digital euro Regulation, and the Regulation on the scope and effects of the legal tender of euro banknotes and coins.

The Presidency and Commission will then present the state of play on financial services legislative proposals.

The Ministers' attention will then turn to non-legislative activities, starting firstly with an exchange of views on the economic and financial impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the support provided to Ukraine by the EU via the macro-financial assistance (MFA) package. Ministers will also discuss the Economic recovery in Europe and the ongoing implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility with approval sought for the adoption of revised Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRP) from a number of Member States.

This will be followed by a presentation by the Commission and an exchange of views on the Annual Sustainable Growth Survey, Alert Mechanism Report and Recommendations on the economic policy of the euro area. These are all key pillars of the Commission's 'Autumn Package', which launches the annual European Semester cycle for 2024.