Video conference of the Eurogroup

Economic and Financial Affairs Council

Main results

Macroeconomic developments and policy prospects in the euro area

The Eurogroup exchanged views on macroeconomic developments and policy prospects in the euro area.

In light of the uncertainty and challenge, there continues to be a great need to coordinate our monetary and our budgetary efforts. From a Eurogroup perspective, it is important that we approach national budgetary preparations in a coordinated manner to help shape our policy decisions, particularly as the process of vaccination gathers steam and our recovery begins to slowly start.

Paschal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup

The discussion was based on the European Commission’s Winter 2021 Forecast and the latest information on health developments presented by Michael Ryan, World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Director for Health Emergencies Programme and Bruce Aylward, Senior Advisor responsible for the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19.

When we start to emerge from the health crisis, our policy response will need to adapt but gradually – that is something we will be talking about regularly in the coming months because we all have an interest in a successful and united return to growth.

Paschal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup

International role of the euro

Ministers discussed the international role of the euro. The discussion followed guidance of the December 2020 Euro Summit and the publication of the European Commission’s communication of 19 January 2021 “The European economic and financial system: fostering strength and resilience”.

The aim is to reduce our dependence on other currencies, and to strengthen our autonomy in various situations. At the same time, an increased international use of our currency also implies potential trade-offs, which we will continue to monitor. During the discussion, ministers also emphasised the potential of green bond issuance to enhance the use of the euro by the markets while also contributing to achieving our climate transition objective.

Paschal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup

The Eurogroup has discussed the issue several times in recent years since the December 2018 Euro Summit called for work to be taken forward.

Solvency of the corporate sector – state of play

Ministers exchanged views the recent developments in the solvency of the corporate sector based on a note prepared by the Commission. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on the corporate sector, leading governments to extend unprecedented public support measures to the economy.

The support that we have put in place at the national level and the framework we have agreed on at the European level have all helped to keep many businesses afloat during lockdowns. This has been a success story, but we are aware that difficult times could lie ahead. Most businesses certainly have a bright future, but of course, many businesses are going to need time to repair their balance sheets and unfortunately, there could be some that will not be viable in the longer term due to changing health circumstances, and what that will mean for how economies are structured.

Paschal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup

Ministers discussed the need to monitor the situation in the corporate sector and how to best target such support. A thematic discussion on insolvency frameworks will follow in April.


Updated draft budgetary plan of Lithuania

The Eurogroup discussed the updated draft budgetary plan of Lithuania for 2021, on the basis of the Commission opinion issued on 21 January 2021.

Policy priorities of the new government of Estonia

Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus presented the policy priorities of the new Estonian government. This is standard practice in the Eurogroup when new governments come into office.

by : on 2021-02-14 23:00:00

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