Ministers took stock of the current economic situation and outlook.
The Commission and the ECB shared their views on the current economic and financial situation. The Commission also provided an update on the implementation of the temporary framework for state aid, which enables member states to support their economies more flexibly during the pandemic, and explained its links with the national recovery and resilience plans.
As part of the regular stock-taking on the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, ministers received an update on the state of preparation of the recovery and resilience plans from the Commission. They also shared their experiences with the preparation phase of the plans. This phase is now coming to an end and will soon be followed by formal submissions.
The Commission presented its Communication on the financing of Next Generation EU, published on 14 April. The presidency gave an update on the ratification of the own resources decision, pointing out that 17 member states have already completed the process.
With the ‘soft’ deadline of 30 April approaching, I expect the bulk of national recovery and resilience plans to be officially submitted in the coming weeks. The aim is to approve the first plans before the summer. All efforts are being made to complete the ratification process as soon as possible as well. I am therefore confident that the implementation of the recovery fund is well on track and the pre-financing could start flowing into the economy in the summer. – João Leão, Portugal’s Minister for Finance
Capital Markets Union
The Commission updated ministers on the implementation of the renewed action plan on the Capital Markets Union. It focused on the main initiatives in the pipeline in the coming months, in particular the European Single Access Point, which should help investors to get easy, quick and comparable access to European company data, thereby facilitating the financing of European companies.
The Commission recently conducted a public consultation with a view to preparing a legislative proposal on the European Single Access Point in the course of 2021.
The Council adopted conclusions on the Commission’s action plan on the Capital Markets Union in December 2020, outlining its priorities for further work. The conclusions stress that, at this juncture, the highest priority should be given to actions that are important for improving the funding of the economy – particularly of SMEs – and that have the potential to support a swift economic recovery in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Commission’s communication on a new CMU action plan
- Capital Markets Union: Council approves conclusions on the Commission’s new action plan (press release, 4 December 2020)
European financial architecture for development
Ministers exchanged views on the future of the European financial architecture for development, with the participation of the presidents of the EBRD and EIB, Odile Renaud-Basso and Werner Hoyer.
The European financial architecture for development plays an important global role in fighting poverty and inequalities, working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and tackling climate change. However, the structure is complex, with a multiplicity of EU and national actors, as well as financial instruments. Reflections on how to make it more coherent, strategic, inclusive, impactful and visible started in 2019. In its conclusions of December 2019, the Council set out its views on initial improvements to be made and outlined the way forward for political reflection.
Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the least developed and fragile countries has created new challenges. At the video conference, ministers set out their views on possible enhancements based on elements collected since 2019 to inform the discussion. There was a consensus that enhancing and improving the current institutional set-up could be the most practical and efficient way forward to deliver on the EU’s goals and to support partner countries. Ministers also agreed that the time was ripe for moving from reflection to action.
The Council is expected to approve conclusions on the future of the European financial architecture for development in May.
- Council conclusions on strengthening the European financial architecture for development (5 December 2019)
The presidency and the Commission debriefed ministers on the outcome of the meeting of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors on 7 April 2021.
This was the second meeting under the G20 Italian presidency. The discussions focused the state of the global economy, efforts to push forward the economic recovery and promote more sustainable growth, support for the most vulnerable countries, international taxation and issues relating to the financial sector. A communiqué was issued at the end of the meeting.
Ministers also received an update on the state of play regarding legislative procedures in the field of financial services.
- Meeting n°VTC-ECOFIN-160421
- Video conference
- 16 April 2021, 15:00