Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Brussels, 13 February 2023

Recent developments in the energy markets

The Eurogroup discussed recent developments in the energy markets, after hearing a presentation by the director of the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) on recent energy market developments. The exchange will provide input for the assessment of fiscal policy challenges going forward.

Compared to last summer, energy prices have come down significantly and the most pessimistic forecasts have not materialised. Developments with regard to demand and storage have been reassuring, but we need to continue with our efforts to diversify our energy sources and reduce energy consumption.

Paschal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup

Thematic discussion – Euro area labour markets: recent developments and challenges ahead

Based on a note from the Commission services, the Eurogroup exchanged views on developments in the euro area labour markets in recent years. Ministers also discussed policy challenges in the current context of high inflation and longer-term changes linked to demographics and the green and digital transitions.

We know the very strong resilience which euro area labour markets have shown in recent years, despite the many crises that we have experienced. Unemployment reached a record low in November. While this year is likely to be more challenging, we can feel positive about this foundation. The euro area has turned into an employment powerhouse in a few short years.

Paschal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup

Macroeconomic and financial developments, and policy coordination in the euro area

Against the backdrop of the two previous discussions, the Eurogroup exchanged views on macroeconomic and financial developments and prospects, taking into account the Commission’s winter forecast. In view of the in-depth discussion on fiscal policy orientations coming up in March, ministers reflected on the implications for policy coordination in the euro area going forward.

While the economic outlook remains challenging, the euro area economy is getting through this winter in much better shape than some had originally feared. We need to look at having in place a level of budgetary support that reflects changes that we expect to happen with regard to the price of energy and the general level of inflation. This is important in order to reduce the overall budgetary cost and to achieve an appropriate fiscal stance while protecting the most vulnerable and maintaining incentives for the green transition.

Paschal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup

Meeting information

  • Brussels
  • 13 February 2023

Preparatory documents

Outcome documents

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