EU economic and finance ministers took stock of the economic recovery in Europe, exchanged views on the ongoing VAT files and the state of play of the banking union. They also discussed fiscal sustainability in the framework of the European Semester 2021.
Ministers exchanged views on the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The RRF lies at the heart of the EU's Next Generation EU recovery plan. It will make €672.5 billion in grants and loans available for public investment and reforms in the member states to help them address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to foster the green and digital transitions and to build resilient and inclusive societies.
We are turning the page on this crisis. The recovery of the European economy is underway. We are proud of our unprecedented common response to the crisis. The 27 member states ratified the own resources decision in record time. This week the Commission approved the first national plans. Finally, Europe went to the markets to finance the recovery package that will guarantee fast and strong recovery.
João Leão, Portugal’s Minister for Finance
Ministers adopted a recommendation under the excessive deficit procedure for Romania. It sets a new deadline for Romania to improve its fiscal situation for 2024. The Council also adopted the recommendations on the updated stability or convergence programmes of the member states in the framework of the European Semester 2021.
The Council approved conclusions on the fiscal sustainability challenges arising from an ageing population.
Value-added tax (VAT)
Ministers held an important policy debate on the direction to take regarding the key elements of the VAT rates proposal. They also discussed the 'buy and donate' proposal, which aims to allow for the Commission and other EU bodies to buy goods and services required to combat certain emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic with a VAT exemption and to distribute them free of charge to member states. The Commission presented this proposal in April 2021.
The Council took note of the progress report on strengthening the banking union.
The presidency informed ministers about the state of play of financial services legislative proposals.
Ministers also approved terms of reference for the meeting of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors that will take place from 7 to 10 July 2021.
-18 June 2021