Thursday, 17 February 2011

EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) 15 February 2011

The video of the Eurogroup press conference Monday, 14 February 2011, has now been posted on the Council website, under the heading European Stability Mechanism. You can also find the video recording of the press conference following the official Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) 15 February 2011.

Here is an overview of the Ecofin documents published, even if they reflect only some of the macroeconomic issues being discussed.

Ecofin conclusions

The Ecofin conclusions seem to be available in English only, at this stage:

3067th Council meeting Economic and Financial Affairs; Brussels, 14 February 2011 (document 6514/11; 18 pages)

The date is still wrong, because the meeting took place 15 February 2011.

The general and thematic conclusions form a hefty reading package. The issues include economic governance, steps on savings taxation and anti-fraud agreements, guidelines for the 2012 EU budget and preparation of the March European Council.

European Semester

Separate conclusions about macroeconomic and fiscal guidance were adopted, but only English and French language versions are accessible at this time (document 5991/11):

Council conclusions on European Semester: macroeconomic and fiscal guidance; 3067th ECONOMIC and FINANCIAL AFFAIRS Council meeting; Brussels, 15 February 2011 (5 pages)

Conclusions du Conseil sur Semestre européen: Orientations macroéconomiques et budgétaires;
3067ème session du Conseil AFFAIRES ECONOMIQUES et FINANCIERES; Bruxelles, 15 février 2011

Combating tax fraud

There are English, French and Hungarian versions of the conclusions concerning efforts against tax fraud (document 6554/11). Here is the English text:

Combating tax fraud: Adoption of directive on strengthened mutual assistance and the exchange of information (document 6554/11; 2 pages)

EU budget 2012

The member states agreed on guidelines for the negotiations regarding the budget of the European Union for 2012 (document 5895/11). There seem to be 22 language versions available, described as drafts. Here are the budget guidelines in English:

Draft Council conclusions on the budget guidelines for 2012 (9 pages)


It is intellectually stimulating to have the common euro currency, but basically 17 (or 27) different national economic policies.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Yesterday foreign minister Carl Bildt presented the annual foreign policy statement of the Swedish government in the parliamentary debate: Utrikesdeklarationen 2011 in Swedish and the Government Foreign Policy Statement 2011 in English.

P.S. 2: Political and macroeconomic guidelines emanating (or not) from the European Council at the top are indispensable to know, but details of internal market reform (Single Market Act) and the Europe 2020 strategy (EU2020 flagship initiatives) are going to be among the recurring themes as well. On my Euroblogs I want to discuss legal and political issues relevant to European enterprises, jobs, employers and employees, consumers and citizens, especially in cross-border situations.

Hopefully my blogs succeed in educating and guiding readers towards relevant sources. For me the blogs offer disciplined study as basic training and continuous updating for my teaching and legal counseling activities.

My blogs are: upstream Grahnlaw (in English), Grahnblawg (in Swedish) and Eurooppaoikeus (in Finnish), as well as usually downstream the trilingual Grahnlaw Suomi Finland (later, with more sediment).

If you are interested in the European economy, business, politics or law, we can get acquainted through Twitter @RalfGrahn or Facebook.