The ministers of Economy and Finance of the euro zone (Eurogroup) will hold their meeting of the year this Monday, in the first one that will review the economic situation, coordinate their support measures for families and companies for precious energy, will address the future fiscal rules and will take stock of progress towards the possible introduction of the digital euro.
The Eurogroup begins the year with the hope of being able to avoid a recession that a large part of the forecasts pointed to months ago or that, at least, it will be a moderate contraction that opens the door to a phase of gradual growth.
which has been part of the eurozone since the past 1 of Croatia, thus becoming the twentieth member of the euro.
As usual, the twenty countries that now use the European currency will review the current economic situation characterized by a slowdown in activity and high inflation, but now with a downward trend after having reached levels never seen before thanks men, energy, in gas special.
In November, the European Commission predicted a contraction of activity in the euro zone in the last quarter of 2022 and the first of this year, but the resistance observed in the euro economies in the last months before the end of the previous year (in the third quarter GDP growth was 0.3%, higher than expected) begins to raise optimism in the community capital.
“There is a certain slowdown in economic activity and it is expected after a gradual recovery later this year. Whether there will be a recession is not clear for now, we may avoid it. But if it is observed, it is expected to be mild,” he summarized. ahead of the appointment a senior European official.
In this context, the Eurogroup will also resume its talks to deploy a more coordinated response to high energy prices after a phase in which they adopted aid for households and general and universal companies, contrary to what both the Community Community Executive requested the European Central Bank (ECB).
The holders of the euro zone already promised in December to modify their aid to better focus it on the most vulnerable groups since they were more focused on supporting income instead of intervening in prices. On this occasion, France and the Netherlands have been invited to explain to the rest of their colleagues their national support measures in the face of the energy crisis.
“The objective is to coordinate, not to create political pressure or force countries. We want to give Member States good practical solutions to the problems they face,” the same sources explain.
They also resume their talks on the reform of the fiscal rules that limit the deficit and debt of the Member States – a debate that Brussels launched at the end of the year but which still generates deep divisions among the euro countries – and they plan to adopt a declaration regarding the fiscal position of the euro zone for this year.
Lastly, the Eurogroup will take stock of the progress made with respect to the possible introduction of the digital euro, the work of which is being led by the ECB, still in the research phase that it wants to finish before the end of 2023, for later, if it decides to continue with the project, move on to the next stage.
While the body led by Christine Lagarde continues with this task, the European Commission plans to present in the second quarter of the year the legal framework on which a possible digital euro would be based, although this does not mean its creation.
The Vice President of Government Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, will meet on the margins of the Eurogroup meeting with the Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, with whom she will address “current” issues such as the general economic evolution and of Spain in particular or the update of the recovery plan, sources from his department indicated.