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Press Release
Jean-Claude Juncker at the ECB

Date of release : 13-01-2005

Policy area : Economic and Financial Affairs Economic and Financial Affairs

The Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, in his capacity as current President of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council and President of the Eurogroup attended a meeting of the European Central Bank’s Governing Council in Frankfurt on Thursday 13 January 2005.

Mr Juncker met for private talks with the President of the ECB, Jean-Claude Trichet, before meeting the Governing Council made up of the governors of the central banks of the twelve Member States of the eurozone.

At the Governing Council meeting, Jean-Claude Juncker detailed the economic and financial priorities of the Luxembourg Presidency, which are based on three main lines: a mid-term review of the Lisbon process, financial perspectives for the period 2007 to 2013 and strengthening of the European Union’s economic and financial governance, particularly through clarification on the implementation of the stability and growth pact.

With regard to mid-term review of the Lisbon process, the Prime Minister announced that the routes currently being explored by the Presidency were aimed at taking stock of the first five years of the process, refocusing priorities, improving governance and implementation of strategy by means of national action programmes and at implementing a specific communication strategy by target groups. Mr Juncker also stressed the need to maintain a balance and to develop synergies between the three pillars of the strategy, namely economic competitiveness, social cohesion and the environment.

President Juncker explained his expectations for the financial perspectives, where a political agreement is excpected to emerge under the Luxembourg Presidency, without which it would be very difficult to envisage the adoption of the different dependent statutory instruments of the next financial framework by the end of 2005 and the implementation in 2006 of the preparatory work vital to the realisation of the new generation of Community programmes.

Within the context of adaptation of the stability and growth pact and based on the communication from the European Commission of 3 September 2004 and the policy directions issued under the Dutch Presidency, the Luxembourg Presidency intends to round off the review of the pact by seeking to reach an agreement on the precise content of each of the chapter headings defined by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, which are:

  • symmetrical implementation of the pact throughout the economic cycle as a whole, avoiding pro-cyclical policies;
  •  improved definition of medium-term national budget objectives;
  •  more effective application of the debt criterion;
  • better implementation of the excessive deficit procedure;
  • consideration of structural reforms;
  • better governance of the pact.

"The Luxembourg Presidency is of the opinion that the review of the pact should be concluded at the European Council meeting in spring and take shape through adaptations of the regulations and the code of conduct that regulate the application of the pact," explained Mr Juncker.

This page was last modified on : 14-01-2005

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